The Indian subcontinent offers an extraordinary visual feast. Considering Indian art within a chronological framework, Vidya Dehejia analyses the great cities of the Indus civilization, the serene Buddha image, the intriguing art of cave sites, the sophisticated temple-building traditions, the luxurious art of the Mughal court, the palaces and pavilions of Rajasthan, the churches of Portuguese Goa, the various forms of art in the British Raj and the issues related to taking Indian art into the twenty-first century.
Vidya Dehejia is Associate Director and Chief Curator at the Arthur M Sackler Gallery and Freer Gallery of Art at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Her publications include Discourse in Early Buddhist Art, Visual Narratives of India and Slaves of the Lord: The Path of the Tamil Saints.
Introduction - mountains, rivers, people; experiencing art - the viewer, the art, the artist; bricks, seals and stone - into written history; stories in stone - popular appeal of early Buddhist art; after Alexander - Indo-Greek art and the Buddha image; into the mountainside - cave monasteries and cave temples; fierce deities and cosmic couples - esoteric Buddhist imagery; "seeing" the divine - image and temple; sacred and "profane" - the Nagara Temple; a riddle in stone - Pallava Mamallapuram; holy ground - Dravida Chola temples; God in the image of man - expanded temples and festival bronzes; linear abstractions - art and the sultans of India; cosmopolitan splendour - city of victory; visions of paradise - the luxury of Mughal art; palaces and pavilions - chivalry of Rajput Mewar; Rome of the tropics - churches of Portuguese Goa; jewel in the crown - arts of the British Raj; epilogue - art in a secular democracy.
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