The South Asian Life & Times - SALT   
  Spring 2014          



 Spring 2014


Editor's Note

 Arctic to Antarctic
 - Overland

  Great Himalaya Trail 

India Art Fair 2014

 Nirav Modi 

 Magic of Sorcars

 Tino Sehgal

  Nina Davuluri

 Ravindra Salve

 Threatened Tribes

 Tribal Victories 2013

 - Dongria Kondh

 - Jarawas

 - Soliga

 Indian Painting


 And the Mountains

 A God in Every Stone

 Beloved Strangers

 I Am Malala 












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Indian Painting
Essays in Honour of B. N. Goswamy
Edited by Mahesh Sharma & Padma Kamal
Published by Mapin Publishing and, 2013
Hardcover: 492 pages
Price ₹ 3,950 / $70 / £40

This volume is a collection of essays – a tribute by the academia to the distinguished art historian B N Goswamy on the occasion of his 80th birthday. The essays celebrate the diversity of South Asia’s art traditions and histories. There is a vast chronological span and range of the essays – Redecoration of Ajanta Cave 10 by Walter Spink, The Marvellous Tree of Multan by Tryna Lyons, The Secular Sikh Maharaja and his Muslim Wife: Rani Gul Bahar Begum by Nadhra Shahbaz Khan, Visualising the Ramayana by Gulam Mohammed Sheikh, Deogarh Thikana Paintings by Usha Bhatia, illustrate the diversity of content. Susan Stronge, Devangana Desai, Amit Ambalal are among the forty renowned scholars and critics who have contributed to this remarkable publication. Padma Kamal and F S Aijazuddin have recollected their fond impressions of Mr Goswamy. 

Contributors have explored religious and mythological themes, as also many forms of paintings such as murals of Taunsa (Multan) and Shekhawati (Rajasthan), and narrative paintings from Kerala – all with interesting and scholarly revelations. Mary Heston, in her essay “Iconicity” on Transformation in Kerala Narrative Painting writes: “Rama’s story at Mattancheri is delineated in a series of seven painted compositions … corresponding roughly to the seven kandas of Valmiki’s epic.” One of the most consistent features of these paintings is the depiction of faces in three-quarter view. The profile is rare in Kerala, and the frontal view was generally reserved for depicting deities in iconic form.”

Similarly, Tryna Lyons, in her article ‘The Marvellous Tree of Multan,’ writes of Hamagul – a painting of “a marvellous tree, bearing upon its branches every manner of flower, fruit and vegetable “ executed by painters of Multan. “These traditional painters still dwell in Mohallah Kamaangran, inside the old walled city, where they have long been known as the ‘bowmakers’ (kamaangar). The inner chambers of important buildings often “feature walls covered with paintings of vines, cypresses, and flowers. Amidst the profusion of plant life, one botanical image predominates – artists of Multan call it hamagul.”

It is perhaps one of the finest books on Indian Art – a sheer delight and certainly a collector’s item.





Read the entire article in the print edition of The South Asian Life & Times



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