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Pahari Paintings of an Ancient Romance: The Love Story of Usha-Aniruddha

 
Harsha V Dehejia (Author) Vijaya Sharma (Author) Contours of Indian Art and Architecture
Synopsis Among ancient love stories of India, that of Usha-Aniruddha has a pride of place. Being a part of various Puranas such as the Harivamsha, Bhagavata and Vishnu Puranas it acquires a sacrality and legitimacy. We are privy to the interaction of all the three gods, namely Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma. The highlight of the story is the romantic involvement of Krishsa's grandson Aniruddha and Banasura's daughter Usha. Between scenes of a pitched battle between Banasura and Krishna, where a mighty demon and his army battle with Krishna, Balarama and Pradyumna and interspersed with long conversations with Garuda, the narrative takes us to tender scenes of romance as well as a bird's-eye view of Shonitpur and Dvaraka. The Puranic narrative is brought alive by the graceful Pahari kalam of Ranjha, son of Nainsukh, who renders the story with finesse and precision and creates lyrical romantic scenes and gory battles with equal ease. The book brings together for the first time the entire series from the Bhuri Singh Museum of Chamba in Himachal Pradesh but also features folios from other museums and private collections as well as a critical look at the painter and the patron of this series. The book is a visual treat.
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About the authors

Harsha V Dehejia

Harsha V. Dehejia has a double doctorate, one in Medicine and the other in Ancient Indian Culture, both from Mumbai University. He is also a Member of the Royal College of Physicians of London and Glasgow and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada, all by examination. He is a practising Physician in Ottawa and also Adjunct Professor in the College of Humanities of Carleton University in Ottawa. His special interest is in Indian Aesthetics. His publications include: Advaita of Art, Parvatidarpana, Despair and Modernity, Gods Beyond Temples and Leaves of a Pipal Tree (all by Motilal Banarasidass, Delhi); Parvati: Goddess of Love, The Flute and The Lotus: Romantic Moments in Poetry and Painting and Celebrating Krishna: Sensuous Images, Sacred Words (all by Mapin, Ahmedabad); A Celebration of Love: The Romantic Heroine in the Indian Arts and A Festival of Krishna (both by Roli, Delhi).

Vijaya Sharma

Vijay Sharma is an award-winning Pahari miniaturist and works in the Bhuri Singh Museum, Chamba, Himachal Pradesh. He has studied important collections of Indian painting both in India and abroad and has contributed several important articles on Pahari painting for Marg magazine. Besides an exhibition catalogue "Chamba Painting : Origin and Development", (2006), he also co-authored The Temple of Devi Kothi (Zurich, 2003) with E. Fischer and V.C. Ohri.

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Bibliographic information

Title Pahari Paintings of an Ancient Romance: The Love Story of Usha-Aniruddha
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2011
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher D K Printworld
Language: English
isbn 8124605610, 9788124605615
length 168p., Col. Illustrations; 29cm.