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3.0 LATE HISTORICAL PERIODS: 1250AD-1800AD

Sri Lankan art, in general goes through a phase of significantly stylistic changes during this period, the culmination of which can be see in the wall paintings and sculptures of the18th and 19th centuries.  The classical naturalism of the previous periods gradually transformed itself in to a highly stylistic art form, which is nevertheless, equally expressive and vibrant as were the works of the classical school of art in Sri Lanka.

After the collapse of Polonnaruwa kingdom in the 13th century AD, the country entered an era of relatively unstable political atmosphere for 400 years necessitating the administrative capital of the country to be moved to five different locations (Dambadeniya, Yapahuwa, Kotte, Sitawake and Gampola) and finally to Kandy in the 17th century AD.  Some art historians believe that a hiatus occurred in the Sri Lankan art tradition during this period and what happened afterwards in the arts was of inferior quality.  This opinion, however, is highly contested now.  Bandaranayake (1986) and a few others have substantially shown the continuity of the Sri Lankan art tradition from the early historic periods to the late historical periods.

    3.1  Art of Dambadeniya, Yapahuwa & Kotte
    3.2  The Central Kandyan Tradition
    3.3  The Southern School