From the linga of Shiva to ritual lamps, from a Vishnu temple to a heap of stones streaked with sacred vermilion, from illustrations of the epic adventures of Rama to a terracotta goddess figurine, the art Hinduism has inspired over the centuries is as rich and various as the religion itself - and, for most Westerners, as unknown. Hindu Art offers a key to this mystery. A splendid, richly illustrated introduction, the book opens to readers the manifold glories of the religious art of the Indian subcontinent. The narratives that Hindu artists illustrate, the gods they depict, and the forms they observe are the products of thousands of years of tradition and development. In a survey that stretches back to prehistory, T. Richard Blurton discusses religious, cultural and historical influences that figure in Hindu art, as well as those that Hinduism shares with Buddhism and Jainism. Tracing the development of Hindu art, he shows how it has come to embrace the widely varying styles of regions from Nepal to Afghanistan, from Sri Lanka to Bangladesh. Against this historical background, Blurton considers the use of images from the three major cults of Hinduism - the worship of Shiva, Vishnu and the Great Goddess - in painting, sculpture and temple architecture. As fascinating as it is informative, Hindu Art offers invaluable insight into one of the world's great and ancient cultures. It will prove an indispensable resource for anyone with an interest in the art of India.
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