The Spirit of Indian Painting: Close Encounters with 100 Great Works 1100-1900

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Penguin UK, Dec 1, 2014 - Literary Collections - 560 pages
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This magnificent, lavishly illustrated book by India’s most eminent and perceptive art historian, B.N. Goswamy, will open readers’ eyes to the wonders of Indian painting, and show them new ways of seeing and appreciating art. An illuminating introductory essay, ‘A Layered World’, explains the themes and emotions that inspired Indian painters, the values and influences that shaped their work, and the unique ways in which they depicted time and space. It describes, too, the characteristics of the different regional styles, the relationship between patrons and painters, the milieu in which they created their works, and the tools and techniques the painters used. The second part of this book consists of ‘Close Encounters with 101 Great Works’. Carefully selected by Prof. Goswamy and spanning nearly a thousand years, these works range from Jain manuscripts, and Rajasthani, Mughal, Pahari and Deccani miniatures, to Company School paintings. His description and analysis of these works unlock the treasures that lie within them and show us how to ‘read’ each painting, as he points out its finest features, explains its visual vocabulary and symbolism, and recounts the story, legend or event that inspired it. Combining deep scholarship with great storytelling, this is a book of enduring value that will both educate and delight the reader. It is destined to become a classic.

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a Layered World
Close Encounters with 101 Great Works
The Cosmic
A Bodhisattva Possibly Ratnapani
The Goddess Green Tara Dispenses Boons
The Heavenly Court of Indra
Rival Armies Meet across the River
Krishna Subdues Trinavarta the Whirlwind Demon
Krishna Lifting the Mount Govardhan
The Devi Rides in State
Shiva Ever Solicitous of His Other Half
Shiva and Parvati among the Clouds
Indra Dancing
Meru the Golden Mountain
Vasudeva Takes the Infant Krishna across the Yamuna River
The Great Goddess Battles the Demons

Umar Slays a Dragon with Naphtha
The Prophet Ilyas Rescues a Prince
The Great Goddess in Her Chamunda Form
Neptune Lord of the Seas
The Speaking Tree
The Virgin and Child
The Goddess Saraswati Enthroned
The House of Bijapur
Rama Sita and Lakshmana in Exile
King Kamsa in His Inner Apartments
Kamsa Attempts to Kill the Newborn Child
The Celestial Chariot
The Eternal Dance
The House of the Pandavas Is Set on Fire
Boar Incarnation of Vishnu
A Boat Adrift on a River
The Devi Diagram
Rama Sita and Lakshmana Cross the Ganga
King Dasharathas Cremation
Shiva and His Family
The Cosmic Form of Krishna
Krishna Storms the Citadel of Narakasura
Three Aspects of the Absolute

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