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Musings from Hampi - The Faceless Sculptors

When someone mentions an artist, we think of their art. It’s an instant switch of thought. When Pablo Picasso or Michalangelo is mentioned, we immediately think of sculptures. Detailed, intricate carvings that bring stone to life.

Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, owing to its ancient temples, monolithic sculptures and other monuments. The splendid workmanship from the 16th century has been a marvel that has withstood the ravages of time.

Hampi was an entire empire adorned with sculptures and yet, not one sculptor’s name do we know.

Sculptors who carved stories onto beautiful stone temples.
Sculptors who spent day after day, hour after hour, perfecting each pillar.

They must have spent every waking hour attending to the details.
They must have gone to work religiously every morning, for years. At first, to learn. And then, to create.

An entire kingdom adorned with carved beauty, and not one sculptor’s name do we know. Nor do we have a painting or carving of them.

We know nothing about these artists, who created art that has been standing for centuries, blending in with the world as it changed.

All we have is a testimony they left behind, of their skills.

Their intricate carvings personified legends. Stories, passed through generations.
But we know nothing of their creators. Not even a hint of their names, or their lives.

All we remember are the kings of the empire and the important names, that shone through the reign.

We don’t remember the faceless sculptors, working with their sharp eyes and nimble fingers.
The faceless sculptors who created, art.

And eventually,
what outlasted everything,
when the kingdom fell,
is art.


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About the Author

Akhila Joshi

Akhila Joshi

Hey there :) Calling myself a writer seems a little too good to be true, so I just say: I write. I also like exploring new places and music when I'm not curled up reading a book or binge-watching.