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Siva in Art: A Study of Saiva Iconography and Miniatures

O C Handa (Author)
Synopsis There already exists considerable literature, produced by eminent scholars, on various aspects of Miniature Painting, most of it written with a distinct bias for the political history of the erstwhile princely states. But the aesthetic aspects of that art-tradition have somehow remained sidetracked notwithstanding the fact that Miniature Painting has been called as the 'music in lines'. There is, thus, always a need to reorient the approach about the appreciation of that glorious art-heritage. This book is, therefore, a step in that direction. Attempt has been made here to explore linear, tonal and compositional qualities of a selection of the traditional miniature paintings on the Saiva theme, and to evaluate and correlate each of them with its respective subject without going into needless historical narratives and topical literary references. How far the treatment of the subject in the painting conforms to the canonic stipulation, has also been thoroughly probed into so that the book can emerge out as a critical study of the miniature paintings on the Saiva theme. The book is planned in two parts, each dealing with different topic : in the exhaustive Introduction, the Saiva pantheology has been discussed with reference to the scriptural iconographic details of Siva and his numerous manifestations. In the second part, the miniature paintings, classified in characteristic groups, have been evaluated for their aesthetic qualities and thematic treatment with due reference to the canonic iconographical stipulations to ensure their critical appreciation. This critical study is, therefore, an effort to set a new trend about the appreciation of the Miniature Painting and other traditional arts.
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About the author

O C Handa

Born in Mandi (Himachal Pradesh) on 2nd October 1936, Dr. O.C. Handa is an outstanding scholar, connoisseur of art and a persistent adventurer. In his exploratory pursuits, he has successively undertaken several expeditions to the far-flung pockets in the Western Himalayan region upto the border of Tibet, mostly on foot. This underscores his interest and zeal in exploring antique but extant sources of history, art and culture of this region. Dr. Handa did his post-graduation in History from University of Mysore, Ph.D. from Meerut University and D.Litt. from Agra University – his speciality being the Buddhist Archaeology of the Western Himalayan region. Besides articles, research papers and radio and T.V. performances, he has numerous books on art, history and culture of the Western Himalayan region to his credit. Dr. Handa was a fellow of Himachal Academy of Art, Languages & Culture, Shimla during 1984-1986; of Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi during 1991-1993; and of Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla during 1996-1998.

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Bibliographic information

Title Siva in Art: A Study of Saiva Iconography and Miniatures
Author O C Handa
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.1992
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8185182655
length 127p., Plates; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.