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4


CONCLUDING REMARKS


The Colonial architecture in Bengal or for that matter in India is generally described as ‘Indo-British’ ie Indian and British elements mixed together. What is Indian is both Hindu and Muslim, and what is British is both British and Classical. But there is a much difference of this style with the earlier Indian tradition in content and spirit. The Indian tradition centred round the religious buildings- the stupa and the temple in Hindu-Buddhist period, and mosques and tombs in the Muslim time. In the Colonial period, the emphasis was not on the religious, but on the profane and secular, a distinguishing mark clearly pointing to the periodization of history. The reason was obvious. While in the ancient and medieval period, the dominating state influence was religion, in the modern period it was the real world discovered by adventurers for commercial enterprise of dynastic nationalism. The interest was thus varied, and in this varied interest the building activities were also varied and complex. Out of administrative necessity the structure-types were different and in this difference of purpose was used different architectural elements from all distinctive vocabularies. In the admixture of these elements an interesting aspect is noticeable what was religious in ancient structure such as the pillar and pediment is now the dominating feature in the secular building. The purpose was not the preservation of the sanctity of the monument as such but the pronouncement of strength and beauty. The permanency however is the main concern of both the systems. Needless to say that in such a philosophy structures of all types will be created. In the older system it was the prerogative of the monarchy, but in the modern system it was the prerogative not only of the state but also of individual with moneytory ability. The number therefore was unlimited, and the structure-types also all-pervading.

The Renaissance acted as the main spirit behind this thought. Using the Greek and Roman tradition as the basis, the Italians in the sixteenth and seventh centuries started to create new and marvels in all spheres of life. Architecture was no exception. The creations of Jacopo Sansovino, Andrea Palladio and Michelangelo became the models which gradually spread to France and England through Perrault, Mansart, and Christopher Wren, and thence to the Colonies. The British in India took advantage of the movement, and with ingenuity amalgamated the Renaissance idea with the local



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