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From the Ocean of Painting: India's Popular Paintings Traditions, A. D. 1589 to the Present
     

From the Ocean of Painting: India's Popular Paintings Traditions, A. D. 1589 to the Present

by Barbara Rossi, Stuart Cary Welch (Other), Santa Barbara Museum of Art (Other), Roy C. Craven, Stuart Cary Welch
 

Stretching back over millennia and comprising a myriad of traditions, the art of painting in India is as rich, as varied, and as intriguing as any in the world. Treatments of Indian painting in Europe and the United States, however, have focused mostly on miniatures commissioned by India's emperors and maharajas and have largely ignored the many splendid types of

Overview

Stretching back over millennia and comprising a myriad of traditions, the art of painting in India is as rich, as varied, and as intriguing as any in the world. Treatments of Indian painting in Europe and the United States, however, have focused mostly on miniatures commissioned by India's emperors and maharajas and have largely ignored the many splendid types of painting prepared for India's common peoples.
Now, in this groundbreaking publication, Barbara Rossi, who has traveled and researched extensively in India, presents 101 works of extraordinary beauty representing twenty-one forms of popular painting and spanning 400 years. Based on a traveling exhibition that Rossi curated,From the Ocean of Painting is the first comprehensive overview of this diverse material and is organized around the primary functions these artworks serve, from ritual traditions that lead, through the act of painting, to spiritual and material benefits; to iconic and pilgrimage traditions that supply sacred pictures for worship; to narrative traditions that provide illustrations used in storytelling performances of epics and legends. This volume enables readers to see the folk, tribal, and urban contexts in which these generally unknown forms of painting arose, and to gain a fuller understanding of the representative works, all of which are illustrated and given in-depth commentaries. Introductory essays by Stuart Cary Welch, retired curator of Islamic and Later Indian art, Harvard University Art Museums, and by the late Roy C. Craven, Jr., Professor Emeritus of Indian Art History at the University of Florida, illuminate the connections between popular and sophisticated painting in India and offer an insightful assessment if the scholarship to date on India's popular painting. But the chief pleasure here is, of course, the art itself—a wealth of remarkable pictorial images rendered in vibrantly rich palettes.
Gorgeously illustrated with fifty-seven color and fifty-three black-and-white reproductions, From the Ocean of Painting brings us a world of art rarely glimpsed in the West and a stunning collection anyone interested in painting will not want to miss.

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
In From the Ocean of Painting, Barbara Rossi celebrates several centuries of India's rich and diverse tradition of popular painting. Rossi, who has traveled extensively in India, compares and contrasts the folk, tribal, and urban contexts that fostered the various styles covered in this impressive volume's more than 100 full-color and black-and-white illustrations.
Library Journal
Western museums are filled with examples of Indian painting from the Mughal period. But they represent only one facet of Indian art history. This survey, the companion to a traveling exhibition, brings to light neglected living traditions from across the continent. Rossi (painting and drawing, Art Inst. of Chicago) has amassed popular images used in the context of daily life. Many of them have never been appreciated or widely collected outside India. Often these works are devotional, produced in large quantities by individuals from hereditary castes. Whether they are designed for private worship in the home, used as props for professional storytellers, or meant to commemorate a pilgrimage, they have a narrative quality never far removed from Indian spirituality. Rossi is careful to include paintings from the Hindu, Muslim, and Jain traditions as well as local hero-god folklore. The book is informative, well researched, and accessible, and there are few titles available on the subject. Recommended for its thoroughness and balance.--Susan M. Olcott, Columbus Metropolitan Lib., OH

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195111934
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
08/06/1998
Pages:
312
Product dimensions:
8.40(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

About the Author:
Barbara Rossi is Professor of Painting and Drawing at The School Institute of Chicago. She is a distinguished artist whose own paintings, drawings, and prints have been exhibited nationally and internationally and appear in numerous museum collections. She first traveled to India in 1983 and returned in 1986 as an Indo-American Fellow and in 1989 as an American Institute of Indian Studies Fellow, undertaking the research of Indian miniature and popular painting traditions that has led to this publication.

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