Indian Art A&i

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1997-12-17
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press
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This book is a worthy addition to Phaidon's excellent Art and Ideas series, which provides overviews of the major art traditions of the world. India is vast (the size of Europe); the birthplace of great religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism; and the home of sophisticated civilizations dating back more than 4,000 years.These factors combine to give India one of the longest and most complex art traditions of the world--and one of the hardest to make accessible to the general reader. Vidya Dehejia, curator of Indian art at the Smithsonian Institution, is up to the task. She sets the scene with an invaluable chapter explaining ancient Indian theories of art and aesthetics, including the responsibilities of the viewer. Most important is the realization that "the consistent fabric of Indian life was never rent by the Western dichotomy between religious belief and worldly practice"--hence the easy coexistence in India of extreme religious asceticism and the overt eroticism that pervades temples like Khajuraho and Patan. The book proceeds in a grand sweep, from the ancient cities of the Indus valley, the development of Buddhist art (which by the 12th century had faded away in the land of its birth), the glorious paintings of Ajanta, the luxury of Mughal art and architecture, art of the British Raj, to today's artistic ferment. Clear and well-written, with nearly 300 well-chosen color illustrations, this is an extremely useful introduction to India's vast artistic wealth. --John Stevenson

Table of Contents

Introduction Mountains, Rivers, People 4(5)
1 Experiencing Art The Viewer, the Art, the Artist
2 Bricks, Seals and Stone Into Written History
3 Stories in Stone The Popular Appeal of Early Buddhist Art
4 After Alexander Indo-Greek Art and the Buddha Image
5 Into the Mountainside Cave Monasteries and Cave Temples
6 `Seeing' the Divine Image and Temple
7 Sacred and `Profane' The Nagara Temple
8 A Riddle in Stone Pallava Mamallapuram
9 Holy Ground Dravida Chola Temples
10 God in Their Midst The Temple City and Festival Bronzes
11 Linear Abstractions Art and the Sultans of India
12 Cosmopolitan Splendour The City of Vijayanagara
13 Visions of Paradise The Luxury of Mughal Art
14 Palaces and Pavilions Rajput Mewar
15 Rome of the Tropics Churches of Portuguese Goa
16 Jewels in the Crown Art in the British Raj
Epilogue Art and Modernity 407(19)
Glossary 426(3)
Religious and Mythical Figures 429(1)
Major Dynasties and Empires 430(2)
Key Dates 432(3)
Further Reading 436(5)
Index 441(5)
Acknowledgements 446

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