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their sons, whose lovely voices aid and vary melodies of their sires.


Such is the outline of the beautiful picture drawn by the poets, and which is also a favourite subject with the Indian painters; but their works, like the music of modern Hindostan, do not furnish materials by which to judge of the state of the art, when India was in the zenith of her glory. Of the ancient music, indeed, the history has been preserved in elaborate scientific treatises and poetical tales; but ancient pictures must long ago have perished; and it is only by a detached hint, scattered here and there, in writings on other subjects, that we can guess that painting was once highly cultivated.

The specimens of Hindû art I have seen, are minute imitations of nature, on a scale in general more diminutive than our common miniatures; but there is a delicacy of handling about them, that seems like the remains of a more perfect art, which survives only in its mechanical part, while the soul and genius that once guided it are long since fled.

Sculpture had made considerable progress in Hindostan at an early period; and however rude the first attempts at hewing a stone, and polishing it into the resemblance of the human figure, still it serves as a model which other artists may improve.


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The first figures of the ancient Egyptians, and even of the Greeks, had their hands straight, and attached to the body, and the legs were not divided; the Hindûs had attained to an imitation of attitude and action; and though their forms wanted that exquisite grace which even now enraptures us, when we behold the wonders of the Grecian chissel, I have seen some which are not without elegance, particularly a dancing figure at the entrance to the cave of Carli, which possesses considerable ease and gracefulness and there is no little skill displayed in the grouping of some of the sculptures at the Seven Pagodas, particularly one representing Crishna protecting his followers from the wrath of Indra. Perhaps one great reason of the arrestation of the farther progress of sculpture, after it had advanced so far, was the attempt to represent, by gigantic bulk, the greatness of the heroes and the gods, which necessarily, as it rendered the work less manageable, made it coarse: whereas the Greeks, though, in a few instances, they formed colossal statues, commonly confined themselves to the beautiful proportions of nature, and sought to place greatness in expression. The bending of the brow of Jupiter, conveyed at once all that is sublime and majestic in the Father of gods and men; but the giant Siva must frown, and

gnash his teeth, and raise his numerous terribly armed hands, ere the Hindû sees his awful divinity, or recognises the powerful father and destroyer of all. Besides, it is probable that, as the religion of the Egyptians forbade the alteration, even for the sake of improvement, of any figure intended for the service of the temples, so the same cause might have prevented the Hindû sculptor from departing from the figure and attitude which his ancestors had bestowed on his gods.

In the lower parts of sculpture, applicable to architectural ornaments, the Hindû chissel has perhaps seldom been surpassed; its light and airy foliage, its elegant volutes, and the variety of its subjects, vie at once with Italian art and Gothic fancy, to which last style it has, indeed, occasionally a remarkable likeness.

The most ancient remains of Indian architecture are most probably those wonderful excavations and sculptured rocks, in Elephanta and Salsette, at Ellora, the Seven Pagodas, and among the Mahratta mountains. In the first of these, the effect is produced by the massiness of the pillars, as much as by the great extent of the cavern and its sculptured sides, where the gigantic deities and saints give it an air of the palace of some enchanter, so unlike are they in size and form to any thing in common nature.

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