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“An assemblage of twenty-six scholarly essays: in honour of Dr Kapila Vatsyayan, the book attempts to conjure up the integral vision of art — exploring, as it does, the underlying unity of different disciplines. Written by distinguished Indian and foreign scholars: artists, art historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, scientists, philosophers and litterateurs, who have shared or subscribed to Dr Vatsyayan’s holistic vision of arts, these essays look for the linkages that have existed within the arts, between the arts, and across the cultures — focusing, contextually, on the form, the content, and the vision of art in terms of time and space. With at once stimulating alternative viewpoints available to humankind today, the authors consider space, time and consciousness as they are related to, and expressed in, metaphor, symbol and creative process. Together with cross-cultural comparisons of art, the book also explores the future of man as an artist. Art: The Integral Vision, besides the Editors’ Introduction giving an overview on the presentations, is blessed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s personal message. A foremost authority on Indian art and culture, Dr Kapila Vatsyayan is well-known to all serious scholars of art history, religion, philosophy and cosmology. A prolific author and recipient of several honours, including the prestigious Padma Shree (1990) and Padma Vibhushan (2011), she has convincingly spelt out the unifying principles of cultural plurality and the interdependence and interrelatedness of creative arts. This holistic vision — unmistakably manifest in her writings — has come to finest fruition in her setting up (in 1985) the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi. This is a fascinating book for wide-ranging specialists and students interested in the mathematical, geometrical, metaphysical, astrophysical, cosmological, philosophical, psychological, historical, mythological and metaphorical understanding of art, especially the Indian art.”
The book vividly presents, analyses and critiques the varied facets of Indian aesthetics, especially the theory and technique of classical Indian dance, while doing a penetrating study of interrelationship that dancing has with literature, sculpture and music. In doing so, the book surveys and analyses the contribution of all great Sanskrit authors, theoreticians, playwrights of ancient and classical India along with the works many Bhāṣā scholars of arts, aesthetics and literature.
This volume is the result of many years of painstaking research in a field, which had been neglected by art historians, and thus presenting an idealistic view of the whole tradition of Indian art and aesthetics. This definitive work on the inherent interrelationship of the Indian arts is a path-breaking endeavour, treading into a domain which no one had explored. For that to happen, the author has delved deep into enormous mass of literature on the subject and has also surveyed the portrayal of dance figures in ancient temples. With Dr Kapila Vatsyayan’s profound knowledge of various dance forms as a performing artist of her own standing and having studied the sculptures and artefacts minutely, the book emerges so scholarly emanating the wisdom and know-how of a persona, endowed with the unique combination of a researcher, an art historian and an aesthetician par excellence.
The book vividly presents, analyses and critiques the varied facets of Indian aesthetics, especially the theory and technique of classical Indian dance, while doing a penetrating study of interrelationship that dancing has with literature, sculpture and music. In doing so, it surveys and analyses the contribution of great Sanskrit authors, theoreticians, playwrights of ancient and classical India such as Bharata, Bhāsa, Kālidāsa, Śūdraka, Bhavabhūti, Abhinavagupta, Jayadeva and many more along with numerous Bhāṣā scholars of arts, aesthetics and literature, covering each and every nook and corner of the Indian subcontinent.
This highly scholarly work should invoke keen enthusiasm among Sanskritists, art historians, dancers and students of varied art forms alike, and should pave the way for ongoing researches on all the topics covered within its scope.
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