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The Body Adorned


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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations Preface and Acknowledgments 1. The Body as Leitmotif 2. The Idealized Body and Ornament 3. The Sensuous Within Sacred Boundaries 4. To the Divine Through Beauty 5. Inserting the Gods in the World of Men: Rajput Painted Manuscripts Afterword. The Body Revealed and Concealed: Issues of Intention and Perception Notes Bibliography Index

Promotional Information

This book is very well conceived, and Dehejia is a major scholar with a fine track record in scholarly yet accessible writing. The study's particular merit lies in the fact that Dehejia brings her sensitivity to the integral connections between verbal and visual imagery in Indian aesthetics, to the linkages among a variety of Indian arts, and to a holistic vision of the culture in which these arts flourish. -- Indira Peterson, Mount Holyoke College The rich adornment of the human body is everywhere in Indian culture--and nowhere in Indian scholarship.Vidya Dehejia has finally addressed this deficiency with a perceptive and illuminating book sure to be of interest to students of literature no less than art history. -- Sheldon Pollock, The William B. Ransford Professor of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Columbia University One of those things we rarely address in the study of Indian art is the sensual body, which, as this book so effectively shows, is central to the conception of the figure. Controlling multiple languages--Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada--as well as a vast array of Indian literature from inscriptions to poetry to texts on the arts and aesthetics, Vidya Dehejia explores the well-formed body in India's visual arts and the metaphors used to describe and understand it. After reading this book, I cannot imagine looking at the Indian sculptured or painted figure as I'd previously viewed it. -- Rick Asher, University of Minnesota An accessible, thoughtful inquiry into several crucial questions in the study of Indian art. Vidya Dehejia argues that the sensuous anthropomorphic form occupies a fundamental position in the Indian artistic imagination, and she confirms this persuasively through both visual and literary sources. One great virtue of this work lies in its synthesis of art, literature, and cultural materials, providing a rich cultural context for the understanding of Indian art. -- Richard H. Davis, professor of religion and Asian studies, Bard College

About the Author

Vidya Dehejia holds the Barbara Stoler Miller Chair in Indian Art at Columbia University. Previously she was acting director of the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler gallery in Washington, D.C. Her recent publications include Chola: Bronzes from South India; India Through the Lens: Photography 1840-1911; and Devi: The Great Goddess.


An important work for anyone interested in Indian art or religion... Highly recommended. Choice

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