Indian Painting: The Lesser Known Traditions

Anna L Dallapiccola, Niyogi Books, 2011, 216 p, 175 Col. figs, 1 map, ISBN : 9788189738815, $95.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Indian Painting: The Lesser Known Traditions

Contents: Foreword and acknowledgments. 1. Introduction. 2. Crossing borders: contemporary folk and tribal artists in India/Jyotindra Jain. 3. Of Gods, heroes and kings: illustrated manuscripts from Assam/Samiran Boruah. 4. Painting with intent: history and variety in an Indian painting tradition/T. Richard Blurton. 5. What’s new in Pata painting?/Kavita Singh. 6. Jamini Roy and the Folk Art Paradigm/Sona Datta. 7. The Kavad phenomenon of Rajasthan: a lesser-known Folk tradition/Nina Sabnani. 8. Transfixed by the arrow of time: Phad paintings of Rajasthan/Kavita Singh. 9. Oral, theatrical and performative dimensions of a painted scroll from Telengana/Kirtana Thangavelu. 10. The Ramayana: Two 19 century canopies from coastal Andhra in the Victoria and Albert Museum/Anna L. Dallapiccola. 11. Aspects of South Indian Manuscript Paintings: three paintings in the Victoria and Albert Museum/Rosemary Crill. 12. Minakshi’s wedding: painting the sacred marriage in early modern Madurai/Crispin Branfoot. 13. Reconsidering the Ramayana Murals: paintings at the Mattancheri Palace/Mary Beth Heston. Map. Glossary. Index.

India has an astonishingly rich variety of painting traditions. While miniature painting schools became virtually extinct with the decline of aristocratic patronage, a number of local vernacular idioms still survive and continue to develop, adjusting to social and political changes. The present collection of papers is the volume of the proceedings of the conference ‘Indian Painting: The Lesser-Known Traditions’ held in Houston in 2008. The aim of the conference was to highlight these lesser-known artistic expressions grouped, until the recent past, under the heading of ‘folk art’. These artistic expressions are now beginning to be recognized as of pivotal importance for an understanding of the social setting in which they have evolved. The essays concentrate on the following geographic areas: Assam, Bengal, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. The time- span, covered by the works discussed by the contributors, ranges from the late seventeenth century to the present day.

About the Author: Anna L. Dallapiccola was Professor of Indian Art at the South Asia Institute of Heidelberg University from 1971 to 1995. In 1991, she was appointed Honorary Professor at Edinburgh University, and has regularly lectured at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, and was Visiting Professor at De Montfort University Leicester until 2004. In India she was closely involved in the Vijayanagara Research Project from 1984 to 2001. Her current research focuses on South Indian painting, in particular on the kalamkaris in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Among her most recent publications are South Indian Paintings: a catalogue of the British Museum collection (2010), The Great Platform at Vijayanagara (2010).

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