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Metal Sculpture Art and Architecture of Ancient Kashmir

Title:Metal Sculpture Art and Architecture of Ancient Kashmir
Author:Pal Pratapaditya (Ed)
Enumeration:Vol. 40-2, p. 77-94
Abstract:By the 8th century the art of casting metal images of impressive size flourished in Kashmir, and unlike elsewhere in India, the Kashmiris were fond of installing a metal sculpture as the principal icon in their temples. This practice is corroborated by the surviving temples in neighbouring Chamba in Himachal Pradesh. The Kashmiri sculptors were partial to brass, which was often inlaid with silver and copper. All the Kashmiri metal sculptures discovered so far depict Buddhist and Hindu deities. Few bronzes of the early Karkota period (c.600-855 CE) have survived and are of rather modest size. By and large, the early Kashmiri bronzes of the 6th-7th century reveal vestiges of the Gandhara tradition as well as influences of Gupta aesthetic. A greater number of surviving Kashmiri bronzes belong to the Utpala (855-1003 CE) and the Lohara (1003-1165 CE) periods than to the earlier Karkota period. This is partly due to the closer ties at this time between Western Tibetan kingdoms such as Guge and Kashmir. Not only was there a lively exchange of monks and scholars between the 2 regions, but during the attacks on the monasteries in Kashmir, both Kashmiri monks and their icons must have been welcomed in Tibet, where they survived.

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