Stylistic Evolution of Wooden Idols: Changing Faces of History in Bengal Art

Sanjay Sen Gupta

School of Fine Arts, Amity University Kolkata, India. Email:

 Volume 9, Number 2, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v9n2.37

Received April 28, 2017; Revised July 14, 2017; Accepted July 15, 2017; Published August 23, 2017.


Idols, i.e., divine images for worship, have always been an important component of Indian sculpture. Throughout the ages, these idols have simultaneously been carved in wood and stone – however the history of wood dates back much earlier than the other. But, the perishable nature of the material and the hot-and-humid climate of the subcontinent didn’t allow the wooden-specimens to survive till date. Hence the rich and varied tradition didn’t get their due importance in the prevailing texts dealing with the history of Indian art. This paper hence attempts to come up with a comprehensive account on the same in order to enable a broader perspective of Indian art and enhance the scopes of further research and discoveries. The methodology included both field-study and academic-research that resulted into a comprehensive overview of this artistic evolution – through the ages – against the panorama of Bengal art.

Keywords: Wooden idols, Bengal, India.

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