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Painted Abode of Gods Mural Traditions of Kerala

A. Ramachandran (Author)

The Kerala mural tradition of the medieval period, at least 400 years old, retained elements of the great classical wall painting traditions.  By 20th Century it slipped into oblivion and most of the sites were obliterated through damage or repainting.  This lavishly illustrated book is the first comprehensive effort to document a vividly colourful tradition to enrich Indian art history.  Artist A Ramachandran has been repeatedly visiting the major and the more obscure sites for close to 50 years to record, study, and visually document the complex narrative and iconographic tradition.  Beginning as a student in Santiniketan, Ramachandran was undeterred by the difficulties of photographing, paucity of source material and the disappearance of the living tradition.  The author discusses among the scores he has studied the best representative sites showing stylistic changes.  He compares various styles, analyses material and technique from an artist's point of view and correlates it with other visual and performing arts.  The thoroughly researched book is enriched with nearly 400 colour plates, maps and site plans which act as a key.  Although thje author's area of study is Hindu paintings, he has included a sampling of a unexplored parallel stream of Christian mural art by adding a study of three churches as this painting tradition is unrecorded and need further research.

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About the author

A. Ramachandran

The well-known artist and writer A Ramachandran grew up among the temple murals of Kerala.  But he began to look at them with the inquiring insight of a scholar following his exposure to the art traditions of India and the world as a student of Kala Bhavana, Santiniketan.  He realized the urgency of documenting the existing murals to save them from oblivion.  Following a research project of the Visva Bharati University in the early Sixties, Ramachandran regularly visited the major and the mor obscure sites for the next 40 years.  He has written this book with profound scholarship in spite of his busy schedule as a painter and sculptor.  And he has brought to the study the aesthetic understanding and the sensitive eye of the artist.  Ramachandran’s repertoire as a writer includes delightful children's stories, imaginative autobiographical pieces and perceptive art historical essays.  Ramachandran, with his wife Chameli, lives and works in Delhi.

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Bibliographic information

Title Painted Abode of Gods Mural Traditions of Kerala
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8187737077
length 511p., Plates; Figures; Notes; Glossary; Bibliography; Index; 29cm