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Discourse in Early Buddhist Art: Visual Narratives of India

 
Vidya Dehejia (Author)
Synopsis

Story-telling is an ever popular activity that occurs space and time. Which child has not sat enthralled by the magic of story-tellers, and which adult has not succumbed to the seduction of reenactments of great legends? India's ancient Buddhist capitalized on the lure of stories, portraying them visually in stone reliefs and painted murals, to introduce viewers to the Buddhist faith and to confirm them in their belief. Commencing in the first century BC. Buddhist monasteries across the Indian subcontinent were extensively decorated with visual narratives of varying sizes, from a mere twelve inch panel to an extensive fifty foot wall.

This book is a pioneering exploration of the manner in which stories are told. It identifies seven modes of visual story-telling used by the artist in early India, considers the reason for one mode being chosen over another, and explores how, the effect of a story on the viewer varied according to the manner chosen to portray it. The book is a contribution to the expanding sphere of art historical investigation and also to the field of Buddhist studies.

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About the author
In the spotlight

Vidya Dehejia

Vidya Dehejia is the Barbara Stoler Miller Professor of Indian and South Asian Art at Columbia University in New York, and the recipient of a Padma Bhushan conferred on her by the President of India in 2012 for achievement in Art and Education. Over the past 40 years, she has combined research with teaching and exhibition-related activities around the world. Her work has ranged from Buddhist art of the centuries BCE to the esoteric temples of North India, and from the sacred bronzes of South India to art under the British Raj. This comprehensive scope is evident from her books: The Thief who Stole my Heart: The Material Life of Sacred Bronzes from Chola India, 855–1280 to Discourse in Early Buddhist Art: Visual Narratives of India; from The Unfinished: Stone Carvers at Work on the Indian Subcontinent to The Body Adorned: Dissolving Boundaries between Sacred and Profane in India’s Art; and from Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj to Devi, The Great Goddess: Female Divinity in South Asian Art. Management and curatorial experience at the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries in Washington DC, combined with her interest and pleasure in teaching first-year undergraduates, provided her with a broad mandate to convey the excitement of her field to non-specialist audiences. India: A Story through 100 Objects is a result of this priority.

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Bibliographic information

Title Discourse in Early Buddhist Art: Visual Narratives of India
Author Vidya Dehejia
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.12.2005
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788121507363
length 342p., B/Illustrations 252; 11.4" X 8.7"