The shaping of the disciplinary practice of art history in the Indian context has been a fascinating process and brings to the fore a range of viewpoints, issues, debates, and methods. Changing perspectives and approaches in academic writings on the visual arts of ancient and medieval India form the focus of this collection of insightful essays.
A critical introduction to the historiography of Indian art sets the stage for and contextualizes the different scholarly contributions on the circumstances, individuals, initiatives, and methods that have determined the course of Indian art history from colonial times to the present. The spectrum of key art historical concerns addressed in this volume include studies in form, style, textual interpretations, iconography, symbolism, representation, connoisseurship, artists, patrons, gendered readings, and the inter-relationships of art history with archaeology, visual archives, and history.
Based on the papers presented at a Seminar, “Historiography of Indian Art: Emergent Methodological Concerns,” organized by the National Museum Institute, New Delhi, this book is enriched by the contributions of some scholars who have played a seminal role in establishing art history’s disciplinary orientations in the Indian context, and by those who offer more recent perspectives on the subject. Lucid and informative, this is an indispensable resource for all those engaged with the history and historiography of ancient and medieval Indian art in universities and museums across the globe, and will also be of interest to the general reader.