Discuss the features of the classical tradition in Painting giving suitable examples in support of your answer.

Plasticity of the fully rounded and modelled form had been the most significant characteristic of the Indian painting till about the eighth century AD. This is a quality which may legitimately be called ‘Classical’ and this vision and tradition can best be seen at Ajanta Bagh and Badami. The most essential formal characteristics of this tradition are:-

  • the modelling quality of the line that brings out in full the three-dimensional rounded volume of the mass as well as its plasticity;
  • the modelling quality of colour obtained by the employment of colour shades and colour-tones and by laying on high lights, wherever necessary to suggest different planes;
  • the quality of brush work which is always free and firm and aims at bold, sinuous and rounded flexibility, especially at the outlines, and
  • a flowing and mellow linear rhythm.

Example of these paintings can be witnessed in the paintings on the walls of Kailasa temple (eighth century AD.) at Ellora in the Deccan.


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