Animals in Four Worlds: Sculptures from India

Overview

Animals play a special role in Indian culture. In opposition to deities, they help to frame the human community. Indian philosophy assumes the basic unity of animals and humans and in everyday life animals symbolize various ideas and sentiments. In the realm of Indian art, animals appear everywhere.

In this splendid and unique collection of photographs, Stella Snead captures the extraordinary vitality, intelligence, and variety of animals in Indian sculpture found at sites from ...

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Overview

Animals play a special role in Indian culture. In opposition to deities, they help to frame the human community. Indian philosophy assumes the basic unity of animals and humans and in everyday life animals symbolize various ideas and sentiments. In the realm of Indian art, animals appear everywhere.

In this splendid and unique collection of photographs, Stella Snead captures the extraordinary vitality, intelligence, and variety of animals in Indian sculpture found at sites from prehistory through the eighteenth century. Here are cats, peacocks, mongooses, anteaters, cows, hyenas, and tigers, as well as such fantastic creatures as double-bodied lions and elephants with fish tails. Collected from all areas of India, these photographs include images from famous Indian monuments, and museum collections, as well as images from remote sites, some of which have never before been published.

Wendy Doniger's essay explores and explains the four worlds or dimensions that animals occupy in Indian thought: nature, the human world, the divine world, and the world of fantasy. George Michell places Indian sculptures of animals in their architectural and art historical context. His chronological survey identifies the location and the subject of the animals photographed and describes the artistic activity of the regions and period from which the photographs are drawn.

This beautifully illustrated book will appeal to a wide audience: to those interested in Asian studies, art, architecture, and animals, and to those drawn to Snead's powerful photographs, which capture both the idiosyncratic genius of tiny details and the grand sweep of cosmic symbols.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
An interesting three-part collaboration. The core is nearly 200 b&w photographs (by Snead) of Indian sculpture depicting animals. Architectural historian George Michell surveys the history of Indian art and places each sculpture in its context. An essay by Wendy Doniger (history of religions, Chicago) explains the role of the various animals in Indian religions. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226767260
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1989
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 210
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments A Note on Dating The Four Worlds by Wendy Doniger The Sculptures by George Mitchell Plates by Stella Snead

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