Synopses & Reviews
The art of Hinduism constitutes of the world's great traditions, as alive today as when the first images of Hindu gods were fashioned out of stone more than two thousand years ago. George Michell's invaluable survey looks at the entire period, covering shrines consecrated to Hindu cults as well as works of art that portray Hindu divinities, semidivine personalities, and mythological narratives.
Michell outlines the development of Hinduism and the principal iconic forms of its pantheon (the symbolic basis for Hindu religious architecture), and explains the system of royal patronage that led to the construction of so many temples and the commissioning of their attendant works of art. Then, in a broad chronological sweep, he demonstrates artistic continuities down to the present day in the different regions of the country, confirming the vibrancy of the visual world of Hinduism. The illustrations include Mamallapuram and other great temples, profound and beautiful works of sculpture such as Shiva dancing the eternal dance of creation and destruction, and exquisite paintings of the loves of Krishna.
This survey, spanning 4000 years, traces the history of the rich visual expression of India's varied arts from the beginnings in the Indus valley, through the masterpieces of Buddhist and Hindu art, to the coming of Islam and the eclectic culture of the Mughal court.
This engaging book tells the story clearly and vividly from the first, still mysterious, beginnings in the Indus valley, through the great masterpieces of Buddhist and Hindu art to the coming of Islam, the eclectic culture of the Mughal court, and the golden age of miniature painting. Much of Indian art is immediately accessible to the outsider, but much is also enigmatic, needing interpretation and guidance before it can be enjoyed in depth: the strange pantheon of the Hindu gods, the subtle insights of Buddhist mysticism, or the complex symbolism of the miniatures. For this edition, the late Professor Craven thoroughly revised the text and incorporated works by contemporary artists, linking their achievements to the traditions of Indian art. A new glossary and time line are also included.
The grave, sensuous, and infinitely varied arts of India have long been admired in the West.