Patronage of The Arts
empire supported the arts heavily. The main art that was focused on was
the art of stone cutting, engraving and ceramics. During the reign of Asoka,
he himself poured lots of money from the treasury into the arts programs.
He was especially interested in the building of the large pillars. These
pillars can be found all over India. He ordered these massive pillars to be
built, and on them are written the some of the sacred scriptures of the Buddhist
religion . These pillars were about forty feet high and weighed about forty
tons. They were constructed of a hard sandstone and were buffed and polished
untill they had a lusterious shine. The gaint pillars were topped with animal
sculptures that had an importance in the buddhist religion. These animals
included the lion, like the Buddha's preaching; the horse, the Buddha's renunciation;
the elephant, his conception by mother; the bull, the Buddha's strength and
finally the goose, because it is said that Buddha was the king of the geese.
These pillars are the paragon of Mauryan art and architecture.
Asokan Pillar with mounted Lion Sculpture