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Indian Temple Sculpture
John Guy: Indian Temple Sculpture, V&A Publications, London, 2007, 192 pages. Order the book from Amazon.co.uk.
Article added on October 31, 2007
  
The Victoria and Albert Museum in London owns an important Indian sculpture collection. John Guy is Senior Curator of South and Sout-East Art in the Asian Department of the V&A. He has organized a series of exhibitions and contributed to many catalogues on the subject of Indian art and devotion. He is currently preparing a catalogue to the Indian sculpture collections of the V&A.

John Guy's book Indian Temple Sculpture focuses on Indian temple arts as instruments of worship. His multidisciplinary approach reveals the traditions still in practice today and opens up a world of understanding about Indian devotional art in an accessible form.

Devotional sculptures offer a powerful religious experience through their aesthetic and symbolic authority. John Guy explores the origins o
f the religious sculptural imagery as well as the emergence of a formalized pantheon of deities.

The codification of art-making is reflected in medieval artists' manuals (sastras), which not only dictated both the form as well as the emotional authority and aesthetic experience (rasa) of a work of art.

John Guy explores the temple settings and, through the eyes of the devotee, the place of sculpture. The author presents the principal deities through their myths and manifestations. He introduces the reader to the principal iconographic forms in the three traditional religions of the Indian subcontinent, Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.



Any description of the pantheon of Indian deities is doomed to incompleteness. Therefore, John Guy mainly concentrates on the three supreme gods: Siva,
“the embodiment of creative energy and its seeds of destruction”; Visnu, who “protects the universe the universe from the forces of disintegration and periodically restores order”; and Devi, “the personification of females power”. All gods can assume variously benign or fearsome forms through the numerous manifestations.

John Guy stresses that “traditional Indian religions and the art forms to which they give expression carry different meanings for different followers.” The meaning is often time specific and geographically defined. Divergent ritual practices and varying explanatory mythologies reflect the multiplicity of streams of thought which characterize Indian traditional religions. There is no single, clearly defined philosophy in Brahmanism.

John Guy has studied the temple context and the placement of sculptures, observed the enactment of temple rituals and worship (puja) and documented a number of festivals, mainly in Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Kerala.

Indian Temple Sculpture explores the making of religious sculptures in clay, stone, metal, wood and ivory from the early centuries BCE, but largely concentrates on the “medieval” period from the sixth to the sixteenth centuries.

The book Indian Temple Sculpture is illustrated though the V&A's excellent collection of South-Asian sculpture and contextualized by the use of both archival and contemporary photographs of Indian temple sculpture in temple worship, ritual and personal devotion and festivals.

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Deutsch Politik Geschichte Kunst Film Musik Lebensart Reisen
English Politics History Art Film Music Lifestyle Travel
Français Politique Histoire Arts Film Musique Artdevivre Voyages
Google
 
 Index  Advertise  Links  Feedback
 © www.cosmopolis.ch  Louis Gerber All rights reserved.