Art & Architecture (134)

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    The Sculptural Splendours of Meenakshi Temple by: Dr. V. Vedachalam, Dr. G. Sethuraman, 990.00
    Temples have been serving mankind not merely as places of worship, but also as community centres which care for the social, cultural and economic life of the people. Probably there is no other institution in India that can be compared to the temples for the various activities bearing on the life of the people who reside around it. Arulmigu Meenakshi Sundareshwarar temple is a treasure house of art and culture. As a centre of traditional cultural activities, it is here that architecture, sculpture, painting, music, dance, literature, as well as the folk arts and crafts, received great encouragement over centuries and this continues even today. The architectural marvels and sculptural embellishments of the temples in India in general and those of South India in particular attract both foreigners and the natives. The Pallavas, Pandyas, Cholas and the Vijayanagar Nayak rulers produced excellent architectural monuments enshrining the beautiful sculptures of the divinities as well as the human beings, animals and birds in the Tamil country. Of such monuments, the great temple of Meenakshi Sundareshwarar at Madurai finds a foremost place with its exuberant structures and exhilarated carvings.
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    This volume on the burial silks, excavated from the sand dunes of Central Asia, offers a window to the history of a lost civilization revealing how the complex thread of interconnections linking East and West helped to shape new civilizations along the way.

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    The Silk Road Fabrics by: ArputhaRani Sengupta 3,600.00

    During the Roman Empire when pure silk was valued like gold, burials in Han China and Central Asia were furnished with luxurious fabrics. Application of Western motifs and designs in the newly developed Chinese silk technology led to the emergence of a unique patterned silk.Silk fabrics connecting the Mediterranean with inmost Asia allowed transmission of knowledge across the world of ideas and beliefs. Archaeology in the Age of Discovery unearthed the exceptional Silk Road Fabrics from graves and shrines spanning several centuries and across the vast continental expanse of Central Asia, Egypt, Europe, China, and Japan. To Sir Aurel Stein (1856–1935) and others the various types of textiles excavated from the sand dunes of Central Asia were worth the risks. The burial silks offer a window to the history of a lost civilization revealing how the complex thread of interconnections linking East and West helped to shape new civilizations along the way.

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    The Splendour of Srivilliputtur by: Chithra Madhavan 1,080.00
    The bustling town of Srivilliputtur is well known for its Vishnu temple dedicated to Vatapatrashayee and the adjacent temple for Andal and Rangamannar. The Vatapatrashayee temple is one of the famous Divya Desams or sacred places eulogized in the Tamil verses (pasurams) of the Alwars (twelve important devotees of Vishnu). The deity in this temple has received the encomiums of Perialwar and Andal who belonged to this place. The first chapter of this book details the traditional story (Sthala Puranam) of Srivilliputtur, while the next is about the two famous Alwars connected with this sacred place- Perialwar and Andal, with special reference to the literary works of Andal, namely the Thiruppavai and Nachiyar Thirumoli. There is a chapter on the Amuktamalyada, a well-known literary work in Telugu by Emperor Krishnadeva Raya of the 16th century C.E. The chapter on the architecture and sculptures of the Vatapatrashayee and Andal-Rangamannar temples gives the general layout of the two temples situated adjacent to each other and details about the various sanctums, images of deities enshrined therein, sculptures and paintings. Andal’s parrot (kili) is famous, especially in the Srivilliputtur temple. Its symbolism, importance, material of which it is made and various other details are the content of a chapter focusing on the parrot. Around Srivilliputtur are some small shrines which are connected with the main temples in this town. These find mention in a separate chapter.
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    The Netra Tantra “Tantra of the (Third) Eye (of Siva)”, also called Mrtyujit (Conqueror of Death), is one of the fundamental scriptures of non-dualist Kashmir Saivism or Trika. It is the only Tantra having the Third Eye of Siva as title and theme, and it contains three important chapters on Yoga, relating to three ways of overcoming death.
    This book, besides giving an introduction to the Tantra, contains an interpretation of the three chapters; Chapter 1 deals with the Eye of Siva, Chapter 7 with subtle Yoga, and Chapter 8 with supreme Yoga. The same texts are presented in Devanagari, transliteration and translation, including the eleventh-century commentary of Ksemaraja, illustrious disciple of Abhinavagupta. The Appendix contains illustrations of the theme of trinetra from different sources, mainly connected with Kashmir, as well as a comparative study on “The spiritual eye in the Christian mystical traditions”.
    This book is an important contribution to the studies on non-dualist Saivism or Trika, and especially to its Yoga.

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    The Yoga of Netra Tantra by: Bettina Sharada Bäumer, Shivam Srivastava (Editor), 1,530.00

    The Netra Tantra “Tantra of the (Third) Eye (of Siva)”, also called Mrtyujit (Conqueror of Death), is one of the fundamental scriptures of non-dualist Kashmir Saivism or Trika. It is the only Tantra having the Third Eye of Siva as title and theme, and it contains three important chapters on Yoga, relating to three ways of overcoming death.
    This book, besides giving an introduction to the Tantra, contains an interpretation of the three chapters; Chapter 1 deals with the Eye of Siva, Chapter 7 with subtle Yoga, and Chapter 8 with supreme Yoga. The same texts are presented in Devanagari, transliteration and translation, including the eleventh-century commentary of Ksemaraja, illustrious disciple of Abhinavagupta. The Appendix contains illustrations of the theme of trinetra from different sources, mainly connected with Kashmir, as well as a comparative study on “The spiritual eye in the Christian mystical traditions”.
    This book is an important contribution to the studies on non-dualist Saivism or Trika, and especially to its Yoga.

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    The book studies the 360 icons of the Chu Fo P’u-sa Sheng Hsiang Tsan pantheon — referring to a rare set of woodcuts distinct among Buddhist pantheons. It analyses the unique features of this pantheon, pointing out the significance of each figure in the mythological/theological framework and minutely describing the iconography of the images.

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    Tibetan Iconography of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Other Deities by: Lokesh Chandra, Fredrick W. Bunce, 5,040.00

    Beginning with a few aniconic symbols, like footprints, the Bo tree or stupas, in the pre-christian Indian art, Buddhism, over the centuries, came to evolve a be-wildering array of deities — in ever-increasing number of pantheons. Interestingly, in Buddhism today, there are perhaps as many pantheons as there are countries, or internal regions or sects within them. Chou Fo P’u-sa sheng Hsiang Tsan, in focus here, is one of these many Buddhist pantheons and acknowledgedly the ‘culmination of Lamaist art’. Authored by Rol. pahi.rdo.rje, alias Lalitavajra, (1717-1786): an imperial preceptor of Emperor Ch’ien-lung (1736-1795), it is a rare set of 360 wood-cuts/xylographs, representing varying forms and manifestations of the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, tantric and tutelary deities, arhats, sages, teachers, dharmapalas and protective divinities. It is also accompanied by 360 `eulogies’ in Chinese. Two internationally distinguished scholars here team up to present afresh the Chou Fo p’u-sa Sheng Hsiang Tsan, aptly called ‘a unique pantheon’. Drawing together all the 360 wood-cut images in their vividly enlarged/enhanced versions — without compromising their aesthetic integrity, the book not only captures their subtle iconic devices, but spells out as well, in meticulous detail, all their iconic attributes, like body postures, faces, arms/hands, mudras, asanas, vahanas, companions, and whether clam or wrathful. The book also incorporates the names of each deity/deity-form in Sanskrit, Manchu, Mongolian, Tibetan, and Chinese. Unveiling, for the first time, the images of a veritably unique pantheon, in their enlarged format, and their accompanying Chinese eulogies, the book is bound to fascinate anyone concerned with Buddhist art and iconography.

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    The book details the significance of the toranas — arched portals or festoons — in ancient and medieval architecture of South and South-east Asia, with special emphasis on Indian representation. The text is richly illustrated with photographs and line drawings from remote sites, museums and archival collections.

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    Torana in Indian and Southeast Asian Architecture by: Parul Pandya Dhar 3,780.00

    The present work discusses in depth the subject of toraªas (arched portals or festoons) in the ancient and medieval architecture of South- and South-east Asia, with special emphasis on Indian representations. Their antiquity and rationale; their continued presence in association with stupas, caves, temples, mosques, cities, forts, and palaces; their myriad forms and transformations; and their aesthetic and symbolic relationship to the structure in question are analyzed stage-by-stage in this book. The rich corpus of toraªas included here has been critically and comparatively analyzed in relation to traditional practice, as well as in the light of the medieval architectural treatises, historical records, and other literary sources. The approach is ‘micro’ in the sense of being focused on a specific architectural element but ‘macro’ in its regional and temporal span. In addition, the exposition reveals the grammar as well as the manifold visual formulations of the toraªa as representative of the basic principles of traditional Indian architectural ornament: integral to the structure, functionally apt, aesthetically significant, and visually evocative, with sound and sophisticated design principles. The text is richly illustrated, bringing together material scattered over several well-known as well as remote sites, museums, and archival collections. Whereas a major part of this book details the journey of the toraªa in ancient and medieval India, the section on early beginnings also includes references from Pakistan and Afghanistan, and the final chapter surveys, with a view to compare, parallel yet distinct expressions in Cambodia, Thailand, Champa, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

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    The essays here, challenging the boundaries and assumptions of mainstream art history, question many preconceived notions about meaning in representations — artistic and art historical. Emphasizing on specific visual cultures within the dynamics of historical processes, they raise critical issues of art production, circulation and consumption and attempt to rescue traditional arts from a past that is hermetically sealed off from the present.

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    Towards A New Art History — Studies in Indian Art by: Shivaji K Panikkar, Parul Dave Mukherji, Deeptha Achar, 4,050.00

    Mainstream art historical writing on Indian art has remained focused on identifying and defining stylistic schools, understanding evolutionary patterns and regional styles as well as understanding iconographic and narrative conventions and structures. The wide-ranging essays in this volume challenge the boundaries and assumptions of mainstream art history. Moving away from an art history structured by an art object-centered approach, this book gestures at a framework-oriented approach that calls attention to the political, social, economic structures that undergird art. It is an attempt to reformulate the discipline in a manner that can explain the field of the visual in a way that goes well beyond the explanatory capacity of conventional modes of studying Indian art. These essays question preconceived notions about meaning in representations — artistic and art historical. They contest earlier claims about the objectivity of scholarship in general and history writing in particular as much as they critique the valorization of a purely individuated, subjective art criticism. In its attempt to historicize the practice of art, the book examines the economic, political and social implications of art that enable the re-situation of Art History among social science disciplines. The emphasis is on the study of specific visual cultures within the dynamics of historical processes. These essays raise critical issues of art production, circulation and consumption as well as production of meaning. Traditional arts have been studied from a critical perspective that extricates them from a past that is hermetically sealed off from the present. The opposition of ‘High Art’ and ‘non-art’ (read popular or mass visual culture) has been challenged. Breaking outside the ambit of high art, studies in the book extend from popular, mass-produced art to MTV imagery to digital art.

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    This book is a modest compilation of Warli art Þ of the Warli tribes of Maharashtra Þ that comes through an unbroken tradition of thousands of years. Warli art is simple yet rich. The paintings are expressive with profound truths which are brought forth in a most elementary format.

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    Unique Art of Warli Paintings by: Sudha Satyawadi 630.00

    Warli painting has its own place in adivasi art of India. It takes its name from the Warli tribes of Maharashtra. It seems their roots are in the rock shelters of ancestors found in Bhimbhedka and Raisen in Madhya Pradesh.
    Warli paintings are pointers — they fulfil a purpose. Their presence in the hut is auspicious and is said to promote fertility, avert disease, propitiate the dead, etc. They show rituals at birth, marriage, a life full of dance and music, livelihood, connectivity with death and life after death. Artists express a kind of fulfilment they experience that is in harmony with nature and their gods and goddesses.
    Warli art is simple yet rich. The material used for painting is simple, themes contained therein, philosophy of existence and even life beyond death, all are brought forth in a most elementary format. Many specimens of Warli art are contained in this book. The paintings are expressive with profound truths and project all that one needs to know how to live a happy life. Austere brown wall surface of huts displaying tribal designs with typical rock art motifs make Warli art different from other tribal paintings of India.
    This book is a modest compilation of Warli art that comes through an unbroken tradition of thousands of years. But Warli art traditions are gradually vanishing. Money elsewhere is pulling artists away from their traditional occupation. Something has to be done by society to create conditions for them, to not get weaned away by lure of commercial avenues. This book is a small effort to save this art from falling off from the pathway of time continuum.

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    The three scholarly volumes contain an iconographic analysis and compilation of the over 760 images from the six chapels of the Pao-hsiang Lou in the Forbidden City, Beijing. There are details of each image like name in Sanskrit, Tibetan and Chinese; physical description; iconographical and stylistic features; and associated images.

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    Vajrayana Images of the Bao-Xiang Lou by: Fredrick W. Bunce 12,600.00

    The three volumes contain an iconographic analysis and compilation of the over 760 images from the six chapels of the Pao-hsiang Lou (Bao-xiang Lou) in the garden of the Tzu-ning Kung (Palace of Kindness and Tranquillity) in the Forbidden City, Beijing. The pavilion Pao-hsiang Lou, a two-storied simple structure with seven chapels on each floor, holds hundreds of Tibetan Buddhist images of remarkable quality. The volumes present the entire set of images, each reproduced and explained with great clarity. There are details of each image with regard to the physical description of the figure portrayed and its various iconographical and stylistic features and associated images. Each entry contains the name of the deity with the Sanskrit, Tibetan and Chinese transliterations of the name. The very interesting and useful introduction discusses deities of mandalas, placement of deities within a single chapel, images of the Pao-hsiang Lou pantheon compared to the Chu Fo P’u-sa Sheng Hsiang Tsan pantheon, variations in depiction of images with regard to their hair, crown and other parts and associated ornaments, and the asanas of the images. The scholarly volumes are a result of the painstaking research by the author by referring to noted experts on the subject. The volumes will interest all students and scholars of Buddhist art and iconography.

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    This volume, through colours, transcends many a cue of the aesthetic aspects of human life into a connoisseur’s mind. Whether on fabric or canvas, mud wall or floor, sculptures or pots, colours for us is a language, a raga and a tala.

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    Varsha by: Harsha V. Dehejia 1,346.00

    Colours are not just for adornment, but a medium that reflects our state of mind, artistic acumen, culture, ethics, philosophy, social values, tradition and the sacredness of life. A non-verbal language, they conjure up our emotions, feelings and moo ds, and take a rasika far beyond the realms of words. In them we see the lush and luxuriant natural world around us, the world of birds and blossoms, earth and sky, gems and stones, creating in us a certain feeling and a gush of powerful ethos.
    The artist in Varsha, through colours, transcends many a cue of the aesthetic aspects of human life into a connoisseur’s mind. Whether on fabric or canvas, mud wall or floor, sculptures or pots, colours for us is a language, a raga and a tala. And Celebration of Colours is just that.
    Involved with her family, Varsha loves art and craft, whether it is painting, embroidery, working with terracotta and ceramic, jewels and the creation of ornaments, crochet and knitting, stitching and designing clothes, or cooking. Absorbed in the world of colour, she likes to share her moment of beauty with everyone around her and spread joy everywhere.

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