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Myths and Legends in Indian Art

by S.D. Trivedi and Atul Jairath

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The book starts with an Introduction discussing the concept and role of myths and legends in Indian Art. It talks about the centrality of myths and legends in ancient Indian literature, folklore and popular imagination of the ordinary people.

It traces the essential role that myths played in the development of Hindu cosmology and cosmogony, the flights of fancy of the early Aryan mind and the efforts of Vedic and post-Vedic poets and thinkers to rationalize unexplained phenomenon and man's relationship with it through the medium of myriad divinities. Also discussed are the various forms of early, later and post-Vedic literary works and their role in providing a platform for the growth of a stupendous storehouse of myths and legends that are the bedrock of ancient and modern religious practice.

It also discusses the chronological development of myths into various plastic arts. The Indian artist made a conscious effort to highlight the ethos of mythology in his creations. He successfully molded the tales taken from literature, tradition and folklore into varied forms like terracotta, stone sculpture, painting etc. The book deals specifically with the ploy of `continuous narration in a single frame' employed by the artist to a spectacularly telling effect. The extensive chronology of art activity in India as witnessed in the emergence of new themes, development of many trends and changes in the attitude and response of people has been discussed thoroughly.

The second part of the book contains about 55 stories from the rich literary and folk traditions of India, each story adorned by a representative photograph of artwork in clay, stone, wood or paint, illustrating the tale. The photographic reproductions are not there simply as an adornment for the story but their theme has been discussed at length with regard to the essence of the tale, the background, similar representations of the theme at other places and many more allied issues. For the first time the art forms have been evaluated in a comprehensive way in the perspective of mythology and prevalent tradition. The masterpieces of art reproduced have been carefully selected keeping in mind chronological range, variety of mediums, different sources of repositories, and, above all, their way of presentation.

Special attention has been paid to the rich artistic heritage of India which is a happy confluence of multifarious religions and spiritual and cultural nuances. Accordingly, stories and artwork representative of different religions and thought traditions have been included in the work

Table of Contents:

  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgements
  • List of Illustrations
  • Classification of Narratives
  • Important Dates
  • Map of India
  • Introduction
  • The Narrative
  • Redemption of Ahalya
  • Humiliation of Shurpanakha
  • Jatayu's Sacrifice
  • Sugreeva's Chastisement
  • Sita's Ordeal by Fire
  • Birth of Lord Krishna
  • The Butter Thief
  • Krishna Redeems Yakshas
  • Subjugation of Kaliya
  • The Slaying of Kuvalayapida
  • Miracle at Mount Govardhana
  • Krishna Expropriates Indra of Parijata
  • Krishna Swallows Forest Fire
  • Bhima Jarasandha Combat
  • Seduction of Ekshringa
  • Descent of Ganga
  • Churning of the Milky Ocean
  • The Boar Incarnation of Vishnu
  • Narasimha : The Man-Lion
  • Vamana-Trivikrama
  • Legendary Animus of Garuda and Serpents
  • The Epic Clash of Gods and Demons
  • Jyotirlinga: The Pillar of Light
  • Kamadeva's Misadventure
  • The Wedding of Shiva-Parvati
  • Ravana's Comeuppance
  • Durga: The Slayer of Buffalo Demon Mahishasura
  • Deliverance of Elephant King Gajendra
  • Ruru-Miga Jataka
  • Bidala-Kukkuta Jataka
  • Mahakapi Jataka
  • Muga-Pakkha Jataka
  • Dukhopadana Jataka
  • Nativity of Gautama Buddha
  • The Great Departure
  • The Enlightenment of Buddha
  • The First Sermon
  • Conversion of Kashyapas
  • Monkey's Offering
  • The Gift of Jetavana
  • The Great Decease
  • Bharat and Bahubali
  • Nativity of Neminatha
  • Neminath's Renunciation
  • Samvara's Attack on Parshvanatha
  • Nativity of Mahavira, The Jina
  • Mahavira Subjugates Serpents
  • Kalakacharya and Gradabhilla
  • Udayana-Vasavadatta
  • Laila-Majnun
  • Dhola-Maru
  • The Exodus
  • Rustom and Sohrab
  • Monkey and the Crocodile
  • Vikramaditya's Seat of Justice
  • Glossary
  • Select Bibliography
  • Index.

About the Author:

Dr. S.D. Trivedi is a well known scholar of Art History and Museology. Author of a number of books, he has edited some important monographs and volumes including “Essays on Indology, Polity and Administration” (Sri R.K. Trivedi Felicitation Volume). He served with distinction and scholarly devotion at the Archaeological Museum, Mathura, Government Museum Jhansi, Allahabad Museum, Allahabad, and the State Museum, Lucknow. Throughout his career and even after his superannuation in 1998, Dr. Trivedi has remained actively busy in academic pursuits. He was closely associated with Dr. R.C. Sharma in one way or another and learnt a lot from him.





Detailed Product Info:

Title: Myths and Legends in Indian Art
Author(s): S.D. Trivedi, Atul Jairath
ISBN: 97881732008902
Year of Publication: 2010
Language: English
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