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The Iconography of Vaisnava Images in Orissa

Thomas E. Donaldson (Author)
Synopsis This work is a well-researched attempt to analyse the Vaisnava iconography of Orissa which is unique in that there are to be found an overwhelming number of Visnu images in the region despite paucity of Visnu temples and inscriptional evidence suggesting royal patronage. Dr. Donaldson here undertakes a detailed study under four heads: Vaisnava iconography proper including Hari-Hara and other composite images and those of Visnu’s female consorts; images of Visnu in his different avataras; depiction of Balarama, Krsna and Jagannatha; and iconography of what are termed ‘secondary figures’ like Garuda and Hanumana. He presents various iconographic charts throughout the book on the basis of textual description of the many images and their representations in sculpture with a number of photographs of the images studied, he provides details on the physical attributes of each group of images and specific images and their evolving iconographic and stylistic peculiarities: such as the decline of a particular motif and the emergence of another depending on the popularity of sects. The author also traces with keen interest the influence of Vaisnavism on the iconographic programme and rituals of Saiva temples, resulting in even joint worship of Visnu and Siva. For each type of iconography, the book cites examples of different Orissan temples and discusses the images in them. The book would be of immense interest to scholars of religious studies and particularly those concerned with Hindu iconography.
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About the author

Thomas E. Donaldson

Prof. Thomas Donaldson (Ph.D.) is a leading authority on Indian art, particularly Orissan art, as he has been studying and writing on the subject for more than three decades. His works include a monumental three-volume study titled Hindu Temple Art of Orissa (1985-87), Kamadeva’s Pleasure Garden in Orissa (1987), Sculptural Masterpieces from Orissa: Style and Iconography, co-authored with K.S. Behera (1998), Ornaments of Orissa, co-authored by R.P. Mohapatra (1998), Iconography of Vaisnava Image in Orissa (2001), and The Iconography of the Buddhist Sculpture of Orissa – 2 vols. (2001)

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Bibliographic information

Title The Iconography of Vaisnava Images in Orissa
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2001
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher D K Printworld
Language: English
isbn 8124601739
length xvi+530p., Illustrations; 349 B/w Plates; Bibliography; Glossary; Index; 29cm.