Welcome back to our regular series. Today, we're visiting India: one of the oldest civilizations in the world, and home to some of the richest and most fascinating art every produced. Let's take a look at Indian antiques, history, and what to look out for.
India, one of the world's oldest cultures
People have been living in India for over 50,000 years - so it's no wonder that this country has such a rich cultural history. From the earliest Indus civilization, to the birth of Hinduism, the Mughal empire, and even the British Raj, India has always been a hotbed of art and creativity.
Indian art and antiques
When you're thinking about Indian antique furniture and art, it's important to remember just how big the continent is. India is one of the largest countries in the world, both geographically and in terms of population. There's a huge amount of regional variation.
In general, Indian art is notable for combining local styles with foreign influences. Over the centuries, that has led to an incredible fusion of styles which are totally unique to India. Indian art forms include architecture, painting, sculpture, ceramics, and woven silks and cloth.
We can also separate out different religious traditions in Indian art and antiquities. Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Islam, Christianity and Jainism all have a long history in India. Each religion has its own artistic tradition, even though they influence each other at times.
What to look out for
India is justifiably famous for its statues and sculptures, especially from the early Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Look for dynamic, fluid figures in three dimensions, often decorated with bright colors and clothes.
In later periods, such as the Mughal empire, painting became the highest form of fine art in India. Just like Indian statuary, you'll see incredibly detailed and realistic scenes, in bright colors. They often include fantastical elements from holy legends and traditional fairytales.