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Indian Art Paperback – December 17, 1997
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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
From Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
One may recall Eliot's criticism of Shakespeare's Hamlet that it lacked 'objective correlation',i.e.,that when certain external facts which must terminate in a sensory experience are given, a relevant emotion should be immediately evoked.
Vidya also points out that in the visual story-telling adopted by sculptors in Ancient India, viewers understood that the lower part of a panel was near to them and the upper part further away.When this has been basically understood, displaying the objects in the 'background' of a relief as large and clear as those in the 'foreground' led to a legible telling of the story. Vidya says that ,therefore, perspective was a non-issue, clarity of of visual comprehension was the objective.
On the whole a very impressive survey. The photographs are also very good. I only wish Vidya had said more about Chola Sculpture like Dakshinamurthy and Bronzes like Parvathi in the Sackler Art Gallery, Washington.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a decent indian art book. You can actually read it without falling asleep so it beats other text books by far.Published 16 months ago by Bridget Chandler
This is a pretty good book to get started with in learning about Indian art and covers a great deal of information for such a little book. I recommend.Published on March 7, 2014 by Sam