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    Gods, Men and Women...

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Gods, Men and Women

Gender and Sexuality in Early Indian Art by: Seema Bawa

The book explores the ancient Indian art from the perspective of gender and delves into the development of engendered representation in art, with the emergence of aesthetic and sexual archetypes and stereotypes of women: goddesses, mothers, wives, nuns, semi-divine yakshis, ogresses and others by giving insights into the intention, agency and patronage patterns in early Indian art.

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Details

ISBN: 9788124606643
Year Of Publication: 2013
Edition: 1st
Pages : xxiv, 416p.
Bibliographic Details : 268 coloured & b/w photos; Bibliography; Index
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 29
Weight: 2150

Overview

The book is an exploration of ancient Indian art from the perspective of gender. It focuses on the period from 181 bce to ce 320 — a period of great turmoil in the politico-economic, socio-cultural and religious spheres that gave rise to contesting ideologies and gender complexities in ancient India. It delves into the development of engendered representation in art, with the emergence of aesthetic and sexual archetypes and stereotypes of women: goddesses, mothers, wives, nuns, semi-divine yaksis, ogresses and others. It examines the nature of the stereotypes and archetypes that were constructed on the basis of gender roles rather than on sex and how these were reflected by various attributes of the representations — nudity or its absence, ornamentation, gestures, direction of gaze and context. It gives interesting insights into the intention, agency and patronage patterns in early Indian art.
The volume with its scholarly approach, providing fresh insights into early Indian art, will prove useful to scholars, students and researchers of Indian art and history alongwith the cognoscenti.

Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements
Key to Transliteration
Abbreviations
List of Plates
Introduction
1. Gender and Art : Paradigms and Problematics
Sex-Gender
Strisvabhava-Stridharma
Beautiful Women and Self-Controlled Men
The Body: Spiritual and Physical
The Body and Salvation
Nakedness
The Provocative Body
Fertility
Time, Transformation and the Image
2. The Essential, Reproductive Woman
Lajja Gauri
From Aditi/Lakshmi to Dugdhadharini
3. Mothers: Child Producers, Child Rearers and Protectors
Mayadevi: Buddha’s Mother
Hariti
Matrikas
Shasthi
Naigamesha and Naigameshi
Malignant Goddess
Conclusions
4. Lovers, Married Couples and Wives
The Ubiquitous Couple
Sculptural Traditions
Meanings and Interpretations
Married Couple: Dampati
A Specific Couple: Sundari and Nanda
Wives in Narrative Episodes
Bad Wives
Good Wives
5. The Non-Wives : Nuns and Prostitutes
The Nun and the Prostitute
The Nun
Courtesan Ganika
6. Yakshi-Shalabhanjika: Cultic and Architectural Motif
Yaksha: Nature and Worship
Yakshis
Shalabhanjika and the Dohada Imagery
Context: Architectural Elements
Shalabhanjika and Eroticism
Fertility, Fertilisation and the Feminine
7. Mara’s Daughters, Apsarases and Ogresses: Strategies of Evil, Seduction and Temptation
Mara’s Daughters and the Temptation of Buddha
Apsarases
Ogresses/Yakshis
Conclusion
Appendix
Bibliography
Index

Meet the Author
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Seema Bawa is an Associate Professor at Sri Aurobindo College, University of Delhi. She has written extensively on Indian art and artists. Her research papers and articles, especially on gender and sexuality in early Indian art, have been part of many scholarly books, and published in various newspapers and journals. She is also a regular columnist on art in Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle. She has authored a book, Religion and Art of the Chamba Valley. Dr Bawa is also documenting the art and architecture of the Western Himalayan Region under the aegis of the German Research Foundation. She received the Indo-German Cultural Exchange Fellowship to read at the Institute of Oriental Art History, University of Bonn. She has been associated with the National Institute of Design, as researcher for Discovery of India Exposition at the Nehru Centre, Mumbai. Dr Bawa has edited ARTimes, and also co-curated Shatadru: Feminine Sensibilities in Indian Art for Lalit Kala Akademi and National Crafts Museum among other shows.
Books of Seema Bawa