Indian art is becoming increasingly popular in the West, but it cannot be appreciated fully without some knowledge of the religious and philosophical background.
Margaret Stutley covers all aspects of Hindu iconography, and explains that its roots lie far back in the style of prehistoric art which has remained part of a living tradition for 7, 000 years and which resembles the folk murals of many Indian houses today.
The dictionary demonstrates the rich profusion of cults, divinities, symbols, sects, and philosophical views encompassed by the Hindu religious tradition. It shows how Hinduism is a synthesis of three, originally separate, religious traditions: the Dravidian (from before the third millennium), the Aryan, and the aboriginal. It makes clear that every part of an icon has some symbolic significance: the material used, the height and shape of the plinths, the type of sculptural relief, the size and position of the figure or figures, the garments, headdress, ornaments, colours, emblems, attributes and weapons, as well as any accompanying minor deities, associated animals, birds or plants.
This dictionary demonstrates the rich profusion of cults, divinities, symbols, sects, and philosophical views encompassed by the Hindu religious tradition. It makes clear that every part of an icon has some symbolic significance. Comprehensive dictionary with several illustrations.
About the Author:
Margaret Stutley is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society.