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Indian Temple Sculpture

John Guy (Author)

The innovative book is themed around Indian temple arts as instruments of worship - devotional sculptures which embody, through the combined authority of the aesthetic and the symbolic, powerful religious experiences. It examines Indian religious sculpture in the temple context - its cosmological meaning, its function within the architectural schema and its dynamic interactive role in worship. Accessible and multidisciplinary in its approach, Indian Temple Sculpture reveals the vivid traditions still in practice today, and opens up a world of understanding about Indian devotional art. The origins of sculptural imagery and the emergence of a formalised pantheon of deities which paralleled the growth of temple building are explored, along with the later codification of art-making as reflected in the medieval artists' manuals (sastras). These guides dictated not only form but also rasa, the emotional authority of a work of art. The temple setting is presented and the place of sculpture in it examined through the eyes of the devotee. The principal deities are presented through their myths and manifestations. Illustrated through the V&A's unrivalled collection of South Asian sculpture, this book introduces the reader to the principal iconographic forms in the three ancient religions of the Indian subcontinent, Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism, conveying a picture of the richness of India's religious imagery and providing keys to its understanding. The sculptures are contextualised with selected archival images and contemporary photographs of Indian temple festivals and worship.

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About the author

John Guy

John Guy is Senior Curator of South and South-East Art in the Asian Department of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.  He has organized a number of exhibitions, most recently Indian Art and Devotion (Barcelona and Madrid, 2007), and contributed to many catalogues, including Encounters: the meeting of Asia and Europe 1500-1800 (V & A, 2004), La Sculpture du Champa (Musee Guimet, Paris, 2005) and Chola Bronzes (Royal Academy, London, 2006).  Major publications include Oriental Trade Ceramies in South East Asia (1986), Ceramic Traditions of South East Asia (1989), Arts of India: 1550-1900 (1990, co-ed.), Indian Art and Connoisseurship (1995, ed.), Vietnamese Ceramies: A Separate Tradition (1998), and Woven Cargoes.  Indian Textiles in the East (1998).  He is currently preparing a catalogue to the Indian sculpture collections in the V & A.

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Bibliographic information

Title Indian Temple Sculpture
Author John Guy
Format Hardcover
Date published: 27.06.2007
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Westland Books
Language: English
isbn 9781851775095
length 192p., Plates; Notes; Figures; Glossary; Bibliography; Index; 30cm.