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The political state of the times, the cultural elevation, the economic scenario etc. is reflected in the art of the times. The angst felt by the common man, the message to be conveyed or the depiction of the situation is clearly portrayed in the artworks. In the gone era, the prosperity of the kingdom was determined by that depicted in the art. The ruler, the patron, encouraged true depiction. In times of the war, as in the Mughal era, there were miniature paintings depicting war scenes; in times of peace, there were hunting scenes or revelry at the court. The same continued in the contemporary times.In conflicting times or when the power was changing hands, the suffering of the people was there for all to see. The artist, fearlessly, depicted the sorry state. Yes, there was freedom of expression and no one even thought of curtailing that. The artist was a revered lot. The artist today has turned into a commodity, depicting not what he sees, but what his patron wants to see. However, some still depict the dark side of society, the corruption, the pollution, exploitation and the evil that has devoured us in the name of development. There has been a change in the themes and the compositions; the peaceful, breathing space of the earlier background has been replaced by the clutter, trying to explain too much in too little space. That by itself is explanatory of the times. As I started by saying that art is the reflection of the times, I feel we should observe art more intensely to understand the relation and the reflection.

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