Introduction :Not a golden age but it was a period consummation.
Administration :Administration was not found overnight. Began with Bimbisara and elaborated by the Nandas and then inherited by the Mauryans. Such was the legacy of the Gupta's Mahamatras and the provincial viceroys were inherited from the Mauryan system. Mauryan administrative system became mellowed - less sever punishment one - sixth of the land produce.
(a) Capitalism emerged in the Mauryan period along with the guilds and ports.
(b) Trad with west on a grand scale.
(c) Material prosperity was reflected in the art and architecture of the period.
(d) Use of the silk was common.
(e) Use of intoxicants by the rich was popular.
(f) Prosperity was not achieved overnight trade routes during the time of the Sakas and the Kushanas.
BEFORE THE GUTPAS :
(a) Udayana of Kausambi, 6th century B.C. (Veena - Buddhist books talk of palaces, gardens and Chaityas.
(b) Artistic tradition goes back -the stupas of Sanchi and Bharhut, the chaityas of Ajanta, Nasik and Karle the rock-cutcaves of Barabar, and the vihara caves of Udaigiri, Khandagiri and Ajanta.
(c) In the first century AD Mathura art became active. It was the Mathura school that first created images of the Buddha. It was also patronized by the Kushanas as borne out by a series of portraits of the Kushana kins.
DURING THE GUPTAS :
They key note of Gupta art is balance and freedom from convention - a ment between the right of naturalism and the bizarre symbolism of medieval art. In the beginning, the temple was in the form of leafy bower, than a hut of reeds, and then a cellarof wood and bricks. In the Gupta period appears garbha-griha having a small door as entrance - interior walls are bare whereas the exterior are richly carved - Tigowa temple in Jabalpur district, Narasimha temple in Eran and the Udayagiri Sanctuary near Sanchi.
The Gupta sculpture was an improvement over the Gandhara sculpture. Their sculptures show close fitting garments and decorated haloes, sculptures also appear in the form of relief on temples. Carved brick work and the terracotta panels in the Bhitoragaon temple. Deogarh temple - a panel representing Vishnu reclining or Ananta - Shiva as a Yogi in this temple is a masterpiece - the same category of the cave temples in the Udayagiri hills. Buddhist sculptures in thisperiod had grown typically India. The Buddha of alm repose and mild serenity and abandonment of drpery of the Gandhara art, a floral decoration showing the triumph of indigenous tradition, seated images of the Buddha preaching are of great delicacy. Metal images of the Buddha at Nalanda.
The Gupta coins also reached classical levels : one side portrait of the king and there verse side appropriate goddess with symbols. Monarchs in various postures : feeding a peacock, shooting a tiger, playing on Veena.The quality of line drawn on the coins and their metallurgical skill are of higher level.
Number 16 and 17 cave-paintings of the Ajanta, the finest belong to this period. These two paintings constitute a culmination of classical Indian paintings - resemblance to Sigiriya frescoes.