The study of technical treatises in Indian art has increasingly attracted much interest. This work puts forward a critical re-examination of the key Indian concepts of painting described in the Sanskrit treatises, called citrasutras. In an in-depth and systematic analysis of the texts on the theory of Indian painting, it critically examines the different ways in which the texts have been interpreted and used in the study of Indian painting, and suggests a new approach to reading and understanding their concepts. Contrary to previous publications on the subject, it is argued that the intended use of such texts as a standard of critique largely failed due to a fundamental misconceptualization of the significance of ‘text’ for Indian painters.
Isabella Nardi offers an original approach to research in this field by drawing on the experiences of painters, who are considered as a valid source of knowledge for our understanding of the citrasutras, and provides a new conceptual framework for understanding the interlinkages between textual sources and the practice of Indian painting. Filling a significant gap in Indian scholarship, Nardi's study will appeal to those studying Indian painting and Indian art in general.
Table of Contents
List of Tables. List of Figures. Acknowledgements. Notes on Transcription. Abbreviations and Editions of Major Texts. Introduction 1. The Texts, their Translations and Interpretation 2. The Traditional Indian Concept of Painting 3. Systems of Measurement and Proportion 4. Talamana and Lambamana Systems 5. Stances, Hand and Leg Postures 6. Iconography 7. Colors, Plaster, Brushes and the Process of Painting 8. The Theory of Rasa. Conclusions. Appendix I. Appendix II Appendix III. Glossary. Bibliography