Discuss the chief features of the sculptures of Vijaynagar of the buildings constructed in the fourteenth-fifteenth and sixteenth centuries by giving concrete examples.

Published: May 1, 2016

The Vijaynagar stone sculptures of the fourteenth-fifteenth-sixteenth centuries have two different directions and both can be seen on the walls of the monuments of royal citadels.
The rectangular panelled reliefs of the Amman Shrine of the Hazara Rama temple or the panel of the Throne Platform representing the Holi festival, for example, were deeply cut, and the figures are all but roundly formed.
They are still characterised by whatever was left of the modelled mass and mannered stiffness of the movements of the body and the limbs. But what is important is that there are compositions (e.g. the Holi scene) which are characterised by sharp angular movements that jerk the ‘classical’ rhythm, very much like the jerky movements in the Kathakali dance.
Here is indeed a different vision making itself felt, but is not fully co-ordinated yet. In other compositions, for example in the reliefs onthe Amman Shrine, the ‘classical’ rhythm is continued with whatever plastic flexibility wasstill attainable. The reliefs on the Sati stonebelong to this category, but reflect the folk version of the same. The decorative devices are, as a general rule, flattened out and arecut sharply at the edges, a sure sign of the medieval factor.

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