About South Asian Art History
About South Asian Art HistorySouth Asian art history examines the art and architecture of the cultures of South Asia, which is here taken to mean the historical cultural sphere of India including Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Himalayan states and Sri Lanka. Traditional foci of this discipline are the art and architechture of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. Also of importance however are all topics within South Asian art which express the cultural exchange with neighboring regions and cultures and with modern culture itself.
Not only has the South Asian cultural region produced its own independent ancient civilization – known as the Indus-culture - , it has also demonstrated great powers of assimilation with regard to external influences, from Greek culture through Islam up to contemporary culture. And on the other hand, the artistic traditions of the two native religions Buddhism and Hinduism have had a decisive influence far beyond the South Asian geographical region, on Central, East and Southeast Asia. The classical art and culture of South Asia is therefore not only the basis for a better understanding of Buddhistic and Hinduistic Asian cultures, but also for the specific development of Islamic and modern art in South Asia and neighboring regions.
For this reason South Asian art history also concerns itself with topics of South Asian art, from its origins to the modern era, which are expressions of the cultural exchange with neighboring regions. Such topics are for example the art and architecture of the Gandhāra region, the reception of Indian art in Southeast Asia and in the Himalayas, the art and architecture of Nepal, Islamic art and architecture of India and modern art of South Asia.
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