• img-book

    Indian Art History...


Indian Art History

Changing Perspectives by: Parul Pandya Dhar

The 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, in the Indian context.



ISBN: 9788124605974
Year Of Publication: 2011
Edition: 1st
Pages : x, 280 p.
Bibliographic Details : 71 b/w photographs
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 29
Weight: 1325


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.


1. Introduction — A History of Art History: The Indian Context
Parul Pandya Dhar
Art and the Interpretation of India’s Past
Establishing Art Historical Constructs in Colonial India
The Search for ‘Origins’ and ‘Meaning
Image, Text, and the Living Tradition
Art and Society
Studies in Indian Temple Architecture
Studies in Indian Painting and Sculpture
Archaeology, History, and Art History
Endnotes and Bibliography
2. The Discipline of Art History: Its Multidimensional Nature
Kapila Vatsyayan
Endnotes and Bibliography
3. Archaeologists and Architectural Scholars in Nineteenth Century India
Upinder Singh
Cunningham’s Writings on Art and Architecture
The Bhilsa Topes (1854)
The Stupa of Bharhut (1879)
Mahabodhi (1892) and the Debate on the Arch
The Archaeologists versus Architecturalists
Endnotes and Bibliography
4. Rajendralala Mitra and the Formative Years of Indian Art History
Gautam Sengupta
5. Stella Kramrisch’s Approach to Indian Art History
Ratan Parimoo
Georg W. F. Hegel
Susan Langer on Hildebrand
Alois Riegl
Heinrich Wolfflin
Max Dvorak
Josef Strzygowski
Studies in Indian Sculpture: post-1950s
Endnotes and Bibliography
6. Early Indian Artists (c. 300 BCE – 200 CE)
S. Settar
Artists of the Mauryan Period
Artists of the Post-Mauryan Period
Endnotes and Bibliography
7. Ancient Indian Artists: Organizations in Lieu of Guilds
R.N. Misra
Artists’ Organizations
Collectives and Groupings
Endnotes and Bibliography
8. Gender in Early Indian Art: Tradition, Methodology, and Problematic
Seema Bawa
Historiography of Gender and Art in Ancient India
Study of Gender in Early Indian Art
Case Study 1: Yavamadhyaka Jataka – Bharhut
Case Study 2: The Subjugation of Nalagiri – Amaravati
Endnotes and Bibliography
9. Disquisitions on the Paintings of Ajanta
Mandira Sharma
Early Accounts
John Griffiths
Lady Herringham
Ghulam Yazdani
A. Ghosh
Ingrid Aall
M.N. Deshpande
B.B. Lal
M.K. Dhavalikar
Ratan Parimoo
Dieter Schlingloff
Monika Zin
Walter Spink
Endnotes and Bibliography
10. Understanding ‘Jaina Art’ of Karnataka: Shifting Perspectives
Parul Pandya Dhar
Shravana Belgola
Image and Iconography
The Pan-Indian Context
Image and Iconography
Stylistic Analysis
Extending the Object-domain
Digambara Jaina Paintings of Karnataka
Recent Trends
Endnotes and Bibliography
11. Approaches to Historic Indian and Indo–Tibetan Sculpture
Christian Luczanits
Foundation for Art Historical Research
Expansion of Research Base
Prevalent Conceptual Models
Application of Research Methods
South Asian Contribution
Endnotes and Bibliography
12. Rethinking the Historiography of Imperial Mughal Painting and its Encounters with Europe.
Ursula Weekes
Endnotes and Bibliography
13. Text and Context: Harappan Art in Archaeological Perspective
M.K. Dhavalikar
Archaeological Method and Theory
Post-Processual Movement
Social Archaeology
Systems Theory
Hermeneutic Approach and Middle Range Theory
Cognitive Archaeology
Contextual Archaeology
14. Questioning Art History: Locating Religious Identities
Himanshu Prabha Ray
Defining the Field
The Changing Sacred Landscape
The Asian Milieu
Emerging Trends
Endnotes and Bibliography
15. Photo Essay: Photographs from the Fort of Agra during British Occupation in 1857 and
Photographs from the Fort of Delhi during the Coronation Durbar of 1903
Joachim K. Bautze
The Views of Agra
The Views of Delhi
Endnotes and Bibliography

Meet the Author
Parul Pandya Dhar, presently Assistant Professor, History of Art, at National Museum Institute, New Delhi, is also a noted Indian classical dance exponent. Well acquainted with classical Indian languages and literature, her core research interests centre on Indian temple art & architecture. Recipient of prestigious fellowships and grants, she is currently working on Toranas in Indian Architecture: with comparative reference to Southeast Asia. Her lecture-performances on the visual and performing arts of India as also her work on the interpretation and adaptation of Sanskrit poetry to the language of dance have been well received by artists and art historians within India and abroad.
Books of Parul Pandya Dhar