Historian T Satyamurthy, in his talk titled Intricacies of Indian Art, said that art and architecture were inseparable. “They supplement each other,” he said. The talk, which was organised by Apparao Galleries and held at the Leela Palace recently, dealt with various forms of art adopted by artists in South India, especially during the Chola and Pallava periods.
Satyamurthy spoke about Indian art, temples, difference in their architecture over a period of time, and the reasons for the same. A PowerPoint presentation was played simultaneously, displaying photos of temples spanning eons, reflecting the changes in art over a period of time.
“It was believed that the builders of temples wanted to boost their ego and were feudalistic. There was a general belief that they created art (by building temples) only to boost their ego,” he said. “But this was not the real scenario. They actually lived for art,” he added.
Satyamurthy said that it was only in south of India that temples had square bases that became circular towards the top. “You wouldn’t find a temple with a square base that becomes circular, in North India. These were the temples that came up during the Pallava and Chola period and they depict depict what went through the minds of artists. During the Chola period, for instance, art reflected the social and political aspects of society as well,” he said.
The historian also spoke about the ‘prescriptions’ an artist was supposed to take — being a master in fields of mathematics and engineering, being well-disciplined, innovative and so on.