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Pahari Paintings of an Ancient Romance

The Love Story of Usha-Aniruddha by: Harsha V. Dehejia

The book exhibits paintings which depict an ancient love story of India involving Krishna’s grandson Aniruddha and Banasura’s daughter Usha. Depiction of Garuda’s narration of the story to Krishna, Balarama and Pradyumna during their battle with Banasura, and the Pahari kalam of painter Ranjha create lyrical romantic scenes and gory battles with equal ease.

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ISBN: 9788124605615
Year Of Publication: 2011
Edition: 1st
Pages : 168
Bibliographic Details : Profusely illustrated with miniature paintings
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 29
Weight: 1200

Overview

Among ancient love stories of India, that of Usha-Aniruddha has a pride of place. Being a part of various Puranas such as the Harivamsha, Bhagavata and Vishnu Puranas it acquires a sacrality and legitimacy. We are privy to the interaction of all the three gods, namely Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma. The highlight of the story is the romantic involvement of Krishsa’s grandson Aniruddha and Banasura’s daughter Usha. Between scenes of a pitched battle between Banasura and Krishna, where a mighty demon and his army battle with Krishna, Balarama and Pradyumna and interspersed with long conversations with Garuda, the narrative takes us to tender scenes of romance as well as a bird’s-eye view of Shonitpur and Dvaraka. The Puranic narrative is brought alive by the graceful Pahari kalam of Ranjha, son of Nainsukh, who renders the story with finesse and precision and creates lyrical romantic scenes and gory battles with equal ease. The book brings together for the first time the entire series from the Bhuri Singh Museum of Chamba in Himachal Pradesh but also features folios from other museums and private collections as well as a critical look at the painter and the patron of this series. The book is a visual treat.

Meet the Author
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Harsha V. Dehejia has a double doctorate, one in medicine and the other in Ancient Indian Culture, both from Mumbai University. He is a practising Physician and Professor of Indian Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa, ON., Canada. His main interest is in Indian Aesthetics. His publications include: 1.The Advaita of Art. (Motilal Banarasidass, Delhi, 1996) 2. Parvatidarpana (The Mirror of Parvati), (Motilal Banarasidass. Delhi,.1998) 3. Parvati, Goddess of Love (Mapin, Ahmedabad, 1999) 4. Despair and Modernity, Reflections on Modern Indian Paintings. (Motilal Banarasidass, 2000) 5. The Lotus and the Flute: Romantic Moments in Indian Poetry and Painting. (Mapin, Ahmedabad, 2002) 6. A Celebration of Love: The Romantic Heroine in the Indian Arts (Roli Books, 2004) 7. Saundarya: The Theory and Praxis of Beauty (Samvad 2004) 7. Celebrating Krishna: Sensuous Images and Sacred Words (Mapin, 2005) 8. Leaves of the Pipal Tree: Aesthetic Reflections on Some Hindu Myths and Symbols (Motilal Banarasidass, 2005) 9. Gods Beyond Temples (Motilal Banarasidass, 2006) 10. A Festival of Krishna (Roli, 2008) 11. Mumbai Footpaths: Paths of Courage, Journeys of Hope (Vira Books, 2009) 12. Akriti to Sanskriti, The Journey of Indian Forms (Niyogi Books 2009) 13. Krishna’s Forgotten Poets (Roli).
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