The Square and the Circle of the Indian Arts
Abhinav Publications, 1997 - 198 pages
The Square and the Circle of the Indian Arts is a major contribution in Indian art history. More than a book on the theories of arts, it has far-reaching implications for the way one thinks about the future of indology and art history. It provides a model to be emulated for inter-disciplinary research, not only between the arts but also the sciences and the arts.
The book begins by re-examining the imagery of the Vedas and the Upanisads, highlighting some aspects of early speculative thought which influenced the enunciation of aesthetic theories, particularly of Bharata in the Natyasastra. The next chapter introduces a new methodology of analyzing the rituals (yajna) as laid down in the Yajurveda and the Satapatha Brahmana, the best way to focus the relationship between the text and the practice. Four chapters follow – one each on drama (natya), architecture (vastu), sculpture (silpa), and music (sangita). Each presents some fundamental concepts of speculative thought, concerned with each of the arts and purposefully correlates these with actual examples both of the past and the present.
The afterward to this second edition remains an event not only because the book benefits from the works published since the first edition, but also because it presents the author’s integral vision and her unique adventure into the boundaries of several disciplines. It demonstrates the efficacy of her earlier approach of investigating the imagery and the metaphors as basic to the discourse of the Indian tradition. She proposes a multi-layered cluster of concepts and metaphors which enable one to uncode the complex multi-dimensional character of the Indian Arts. Also significantly she suggests a deeper comprehension of the relevance of the developments in the field of traditional mathematics and biology for the study of the language of form of the Indian Arts.
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abhinaya abstract aesthetics agni alarippu altar analysis angika artistic aspects asuras Atharvaveda Badami basic Bharata Bharatanatyam Boner Brahmanas central centre chariot circle circular Classical Indian Dance concepts concrete consecrated context Coomaraswamy cords corresponding cosmic cosmos Courtesy Archaeological Survey deities Delhi diameters drama earth establishing figure framework fundamental garbhagrha geometrical motifs ground plan Hindu human body IGNCA imagery Indian architecture Indian arts Indian dance Indian sculpture Indian tradition jarjara Kapila Vatsyayan Kerala Kramrisch limbs macrocosm Man-Body mandala mathematical measure ment metaphor methodology movement multiple Nagarjunakonda Natyasastra navel oblique cords organic physical pillar principles psychical Purusa rasa relationship rhythm ritual Sanskrit Satapatha scholars senses significance Siva space speculative thought square stage stambha Stella Kramrisch sthdna structure Survey of India symbolic tdla temple texts theatre tion triangle universe Upanisads Vedas Vedic verses vertical median wheel word world-view Yajﬁa Yajr'ia yantra yoga