1. Sattriya is a major Indian dance tradition, originally from Assam. Which of the following statement/s is/are not correct regarding ‘Sattriya’?
(1) It was introduced by Shankardeva in Assam
(2) It is associated with Ankia Naat
(3) The terms Chali, Kharmanar Nach, Jhumura are associated with it.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 3 only
(d) None of the above
Answer: (d) Explanation:
It is a dance-drama performance art with origins in the Krishna-centered Vaishnavism monasteries of Assam, and attributed to the 15th century Bhakti movement scholar and saint named Srimanta Sankardev. Statement 1 is correct – The Sattriya dance form was introduced in the 15th century A.D by the great Vaishnava saint and reformer of Assam, Mahapurusha Shankaradeva Statement 2 is correct – Sankaradeva created Sattriya Nritya as an accompaniment to the Ankia Naat (a form of Assamese one-act plays devised by him) Statement 3 is correct – The Sattriya tradition, has two distinctly separate streams - the Bhaona-related repertoire starting from the Gayan-Bhayanar Nach to the Kharmanar Nach, secondly the dance numbers which are independent, such as Chali, Rajagharia Chali, Jhumura, Nadu Bhangi etc. Among them the Chali is characterized by gracefulness and elegance, while the Jhumura is marked by vigor and majestic beauty.
2. Bani Thani, the famous painting which is also called as Monalisa of India, belongs to which of the following schools of painting?
(a) Kishangarh School
(b) Malwa School
(c) Bundi School
(d) Bikaner School
Answer: (a) Explanation: Kishangarh – During the second quarter of the 18th century, there developed the most charming school of Rajasthani painting in Kishangarh under the patronage of Raja Savant Singh (1748-1757 A.D.) who wrote devotional poetry in praise of Krishna, under the assumed name of Nagari Das. Most of the Kishangarh miniature paintings are believed to have been done by the master painter Nihal Chand who, in his works, has been able to create visual images of his master's lyrical compositions. Nihal Chand was a man of exceptional talent and great culture, but the determining factor in the birth of these paintings was Singh's fierce passion for a young dancer from the queen's suite who became his concubine. She was given the name of Bani Thani ("Magical Lady"), and her special kind of beauty provided the model for all the figures in Chand's paintings. Both men and women are tall and slim; their attitudes are noble. Their faces are long and fine, grave, with huge eyes slanting towards the temples, giving the whole an enigmatic expression. In these paintings vegetation takes second place.
3. Ajanta Caves are rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments which date from the 2nd century BCE to about 480 CE in Maharashtra. The caves include paintings and rock-cut sculptures described as among the finest surviving examples of ancient Indian art, particularly expressive paintings that present emotion through gesture, pose and form. Which among the following dynasties majorly patronized the building of Ajanta Caves and its associated artistic activities?
(4) Devgiri Yadavas
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 1 and 3 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1 and 4 only
Answer: (a) Explanation: The masterpieces at Ajanta were executed more or less in two phases – Statements 1 and 2 are correct – An initial phase is made up primarily of the fragments in caves 9 & 10, from the second century BCE. It was mostly patronised by Satvahanas. The second phase of paintings started around V and VI centuries CE and continued for the next two centuries. There appear to have been a multitude of artists at work and both the style and quality are varied. But the major patrons were Vakataks of Nandivardhan. It is in this second phase that we find the depictions of the jataka – the stories that recount the lives of Buddha. Statements 3 and 4 are incorrect – Shilahar was a royal clan that established itself in northern and southern Konkan, present-day Mumbai and southern Maharashtra during the Rashtrakuta period (8th-13th century). Yadavas of Devagiri (c. 850–1334) was an Indian dynasty, which at its peak ruled a kingdom stretching from the Tungabhadra to the Narmada rivers.
4. Consider the following statements regarding paintings at a certain place in India:
(1) The paintings here are wall paintings in a Dutch palace located in a southern Indian state.
(2) There are murals here painted in the classical tempera style and some themes are borrowed from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and the puranic legends.
(3) Some murals here also depict scenes from Kumarasambhavam and other works of the great Sanskrit poet Kalidasa.
Which place is being talked about in the statements given above?
(d) Tanjore Palace
Answer: (c) Explanation: The Mattancherry palace (also known as Dutch palace) is located at Mattancherry (near Kochi) in Kerala. The palace is a double storied building. It was built in traditional Kerala nalukettu (quadrangular) model with four separate wings opening into a central courtyard. The central courtyard houses a temple of the royal deity Pazhayannur Bhagavathi. The palace has a fascinating collection of mural paintings. These murals have been painted by rich warm colours in tempera style. The paintings are massive and are spread over a total area of almost 1000 sq. ft. and it is believed to be done between the 17th and 18th century. The themes of these beautiful and well-preserved murals have been borrowed from the great Indian epics – the Ramayana and the Mahabharatha, and the puranic legends. Some murals depict scenes from Kumarasambhavam and other works of the great Sanskrit poet Kalidasa. There are also various murals depicting Krishna.
5. Bagram, Hadda, Bimaran are archaeological sites that produced profusely the artefacts of Indian sculptures belonging to which of the following schools?
(a) Gandhara school
(b) Amaravati school
(c) Sarnath school
(d) Mathura school
Answer: (a) Explanation: Gandhara was an area of cultural confluence and the inter-mixture of sculptural styles. The Gandhara school shows a marked syncretism. Its themes were Indian but its style Graeco-Roman. Images of Buddhas and bodhisattvas were favourite themes; hence it is sometimes referred to as Graeco-Buddhist art. Bagram, Hadda and BImaran are all sites in modern day Afghanistan which used to be Gandhara region. Bagram (ancient Kapisa) is an antique city 60 kilometers northwest of Kabul in Afghanistan, acting as a passage point to India on the Silk Road, towards Kabul and Bamiyan. Bagram became the summer capital of the Kushan Empire from the 1st century, their other capital being in Mathura in central India. The emperor Kanishka started many new buildings there. The central palace building yielded a very rich treasure, dated from the time of emperor Kanishka in the 2nd century: ivory-plated stools of Indian origin, lacquered boxes from Han China, Greco-Roman glasses from Egypt and Syria, Hellenistic statues in the Pompean style, stuc moldings, and silverware of Mediterranean origin (probably Alexandria). The "Bagram treasure" as it has been called, is indicative of intense commercial exchanges between all the cultural centers of the Classical time, with the Kushan empire at the junction of the land and sea trade between the east and west. However, the works of art found in Bagram are either quite purely Hellenistic, Roman, Chinese or Indian, with only little indications of the cultural syncretism found in Greco- Buddhist art. The Bimaran casket or Bimaran reliquary is a small gold reliquary for Buddhist relics that was found inside the stupa no.2 at Bimaran, near Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan. It was found by the archaeologist Charles Masson during his work in Afghanistan between 1833 and 1838. The most recent research (2015) attributes the coins to Indo-Scythian king Kharahostes or his son Mujatria, who minted posthumous issues in the name of Azes. Hadda is a Greco-Buddhist archeological site located in the ancient region of Gandhara, ten kilometers south of the city of Jalalabad, in the Nangarhar Province of eastern Afghanistan. Some 23,000 Greco-Buddhist sculptures, both clay and plaster, were excavated in Hadda during the 1930s and the 1970s. The findings combine elements of Buddhism and Hellenism in an almost perfect Hellenistic style. Although the style of the artifacts is typical of the late Hellenistic 2nd or 1st century BCE, the Hadda sculptures are usually dated (although with some uncertainty), to the 1st century CE or later (i.e. one or two centuries afterward). This discrepancy might be explained by a preservation of late Hellenistic styles for a few centuries in this part of the world