Course Description: A survey of sculpture, painting and architecture
in the Indian sub-continent from 2300 B.C. to the nineteenth century. An
attempt to explore the role of tradition in the broader history of art
in India. The Indian sub-continent is the source for a multicultural
civilization that haslasted and evolved for several thousand years. Its
art is as rich and complexas that of Europe, and as diverse. This course
attempts to introduce the fullrange of artistic production in India in
relation to the multiple strands that have made the cultural fabric of
the sub-continent so rich and long lasting.
Sections: Sections will meet every second Tuesday during class hours. Participation in sections and visits to museums are essential.
Written Assignments: There will be short written assignments
throughout the course. The WATU assistant will be available for writing
guidance and review of drafts.
Thesis: The Indian sub-continent is the source for a multicultural civilization that has lasted and evolved for several thousand years. Its art is as rich and complex as that of Europe, and as diverse. This course attempts to introduce the full range of artistic production in India in relation to the multiple strands that have made the cultural fabric of the sub-continent so rich.
Required Books: (Available from the Penn Book Center)
Craven, Roy. A Concise History of Indian Art. Thames and Hudson. 1976, reprint 1998.
Zimmer, Heinrich. Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization. Princeton University Press. 1946, reprint.
Eck, Diana. Darsan: Seeing the Divine Image in India. Anima Books. 2nd ed., 1985 (new printing due at Penn Book Center on Sept. 15)
Ghosh, Pika and Michael W. Meister. Cooking for the Gods. 1995.
Harle, James C. The Art and Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent. 1986, reprint.
Thapar, Romila. A History of India, part 1. Penquin. 1966, reprint.
General Reference: Other significant texts that provide
other or earlier perspectives and additional plates include:
Coomaraswamy, Ananda K. History of Indian and Indonesian Art. 1927.
Huntington, Susan. The Art of Ancient India. 1985.
Rowland, Benjamin. The Art and Architecture of India: Buddhist, Hindu, Jain. 1953.
Zimmer, Heinrich. The Art of Indian Asia. 1955.
Short additional readings will be assigned during the semester.
Assigned reading, as much as possible, will be placed on reserve in the
Fine Arts Library.
Course requirements: Participation in sections; several short written exercises; one hour exam; one short research paper (6-8 pp.); and an expanded final paper.
You are invited to use the link from my Homepage (http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/arth/meister/
mmeister.html) to review the sequence of lectures and images used when
this course was last taught (http://www.arthistory.upenn.edu/104/images/104lec00.htm).
Image review pages on the Web provide a wide range of images for course study (http://dept.arth.upenn.edu/104/review.html).
Outline of Possible Lecture Topics (subject to change from year to year)
Sept. Categories of
India's Art History/Changing Views of Indian
Art as Art or Craft/Folk Art and Indian Traditions
Geography and Historic Outline/India's Ancient Horizon,
the Indus Valley
Buddhist Imperial Art Under the Mauryas
Buddhist Populism: Shunga Art
Architecture as Cosmogram from Sanchi to Borobudur
Oct. Cave architecture
and Humanism under the Andhras
Buddhist Narrative Sculpture
Invaders: the Shakas and Kushanas
Icons and Symbols: Origin of the Image of Buddha
Gandhara's 'Alien' Art and India's Syncretism
'Classic' Gupta Art: the Evolution of Buddhist
Hindu Renaissance and the Beginnings of Temple
Painting and the Sweet-Smelling Halls of the
Nov. The Spread of Buddhism
and Painting to Central Asia
Hindu Efflorescence: Elephanta and Ellora
Architecture as Symbol: the Hindu Temple, North
and South/India's 'Medieval' Sculpture
Eroticism and Tantra
India in Greater India: Lineage to Empire/the
Coming of Islam as a Cultural Interface
Painting and Architecture in the Sultanate Period
Indian Painting and the Patronage of the Early
Miniature Paintings in the Hindu Courts: 17th-18th
Centuries/Hill Painting and John Company
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