ISBN 9780195658729,Poplar Indian Art And Iconography

Poplar Indian Art And Iconography



Oxford University Press India

Publication Year 2003

ISBN 9780195658729

ISBN-10 0195658728

Hard Back

Number of Pages 184 Pages
Language (English)


This book introduces the reader to modern Indian Hindu iconography, which acquired a definite shape and direction towards the end of the nineteenth century. At around this time, the famous Indian painter, Raja Ravi Varma, pioneered the most important picture printing press, where he published millions of copies of his famous paintings as well as other religious icons. With the establishment of a printing industry entirely devoted to the production of pictures of gods and other mythological subjects, industrialized art soon became the most influential medium of visual communication in what was otherwise a socially and culturally fragmented Indian society. Whereas art historians of the early-twentieth century discarded this art as another school of hybrid kitsch, it is recently that sociologists as well as art historians have begun to take a new look at the origins of this popular medium, against the use of this art in chauvinistic political movements and during political canvassing . Well annotated and with a large number of rare oleographs this will make an interesting read to art historians and those interested in popular culture. This book is an accessibly written account of the Indian god poster industry, and an informatively annotated presentation of a large number of oleographs, many of them rare, and historically very interesting. The pieces produced fill an important gap between the art-historical work of Mitter and Guha-Thakurta, and the more contemporary sociological work of Pinney, Kajri Jain, Smith and Uberoi. The book uses actual bazaar prints (accompanied by the author s well-informed comments) to illustrate aspects of popular religion, and it is essentially art-historical in its focus and approach.