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Essays on Jaina Art

Ananda K. Coomaraswamy (Author) Richard J. Cohen (Editor)
Synopsis Fifteenth in the series of Collected Works of Dr. Ananda Coomaraswamy in the IGNCA’s publication programme, this volume deals with his contribution to the study of Jaina art. His writings on Jaina art span the entire period of his active working life as an art historian. He published his first article on the subject in 1914, and ended wiwth a book review in 1943, four years before his death. Jaina art and its symbolic inventory held a special place in Coomaraswamy’s formulation of the history of Indian painting, indeed Indian civilization itself. He was the first to recognize itschronological place in the succession of style. The Jaina paintings are not only important for the student of Jaina iconography and archaeology which are illustrative of costumes, manners and customs, but are of greater interest because they are the oldest Indian paintings on paper, representing an almost unknown school of Indian art. Holding the view that in order to make these paintings fully comprehensible, a short account of Jainism and of the legends of Mahavira and Kalakacharya, which are the main subject of the paintings that follow deal with the explanataion of various terms; Jaina cosmology; aesthetics and relationships of Jaina painting, the illustrated Jaina manuscripts, description of the figures, followed by a large number of illustrations. Dr. Richard J. Cohen, an eminent American Indologist, has edited the book painstakingly, consulting not only the author’s authentic corrections, but also all the material available in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Library of the University of Pennsylvania. It is hoped that Coomaraswamy’s seminal and profound contribution to the study of Indian painting will benefit not only art historians, but also artists.
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About the authors

Ananda K. Coomaraswamy

Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy, the greatest among the Indian art-historians, was born in Colombo on August 22, 1877. After graduating from the University of London he became the director of the Mineralogical Survey of Ceylon. Between 1906 and 1917, when he joined as the Curator of Indian Art in the Boston Museum he was busy lecturing on Indian art and formed societies for the study of Indian art. In 1938, he became the chairman of National Committee for India’s Freedom. His contributions on Indian philosophy, religion, art and iconography, painting and literature are of the greatest importance as were his contributions on music, science and Islamic art. He died on September 9, 1947.

Richard J. Cohen

Dr. Richard J. Cohen, an eminent American Indologist, was Asstt. Director, South Asia Regional Studies, University of Pannsylvania, Philadelphia. He has visited India in connection with his research work on a few occasions. He was appointed Executive Direector, Indo-American Centre for International Studies, Hyderabad, in 2000 in 2001, he returned to the States and for some time worked in the University of Cornell, Ithaca, New York. At present, he is Associate Director, Asian Studies Centre, University of Pittsburg, Pittsburg, USA.

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Bibliographic information

Title Essays on Jaina Art
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2003
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8173045348
length 110p., Figures; Plates; Bibliography; Index; 29cm.