Mona Lisa Does Not Smile Anymore - The Story of Fake Humanism of 'Renaissance' Europe in Relation to Arts of India

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Item Code: NAP373
Author: Viktor Vijay Kumar
Publisher: Gallery Studio Vasant
Language: English
Edition: 2011
ISBN: 9788184655124
Pages: 192
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 7.5 inch X 5.0 inch
Weight 240 gm
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Book Description
Back of the Book

The art of india sought Inspiration in philosophy of non-violence and inclusiveness. West instead suckled on the grandeur of the highly regimented war mongering Roman Empire. The art of Cholas, Chalukyas, Vijaynagar, Budhists and the Jains in India is far superior to the works of so called Renaissance Europe. This book presents a case of how Human context was predominant in Indian art while art of Europe was based on a slave owning, colonial and racially charged society. The Church, Royalty and Nobility patronized idealized 'Humanity' in art but in reality actively destroyed all non European arts, cultures and people. Riled by Colonial rulers Indian art never lost its holistic and humane stance and has a higher ethical-aesthetic synergy.

About the Book

The first part of the book called Chance-Consciousness Art or Chancon is a new art philosophy that trans-migrates in my art-creating practices.

In the Second part I have argued that the Greco-Roman Art that the West inherited was founded on arrogance. war and slavery and therefore the so called Renaissance was inferior as humanizing agent.

About the Author

Viktor Vijay Kumar a painter, and assemblage artist is based in Delhi India. He has worked with numerous artists of Europe notably from Germany. Austria, Poland. Slovakia, Finland, Russia, Romania. Turkey, Czech. Hungary, USA, UK, Egypt, Serbia, Croatia, France, Italy.

He has enriched himself by his extensive travels in India, Europe, USA. He contributes on regular basis on Indian and global art in important national newspapers, art magazines and Blogs and e-magazines. He has lectured on India art in Germany, Finland and Slovakia. He has held 120 solo/group exhibitions of which fifty seven were abroad. He is Director (India Asia) European Artists Association Essen Germany.


The painting Mona Lisa is a metaphor of art that represents the arrogance of 'Renaissance' Europe which hid behind beatific smile a simmering slyness and cunning on lips. No art is great that tramples on humanity.

The book is divided into two parts. The first part is about art philosophy that trans-migrates into my art-creating practices. The substantial use of chance occurrences in the process of creating art is the foundation of the art I practice.

The creative dilemma hinges on the opposition between appearances and the reality of being. Living in a world of indeterminacy and uncertainties it is essential to seek the navigational tools of inner awakening. It is impossible to decipher the Beyond, we can only invoke it. The light of humanity shri Guru Nanak Dev says that we should leave things to the Ultimate and the Divine Will, To paint appearances is to miss out on inner kernel of the world. Increasingly the commercial industrial thought and technologies have spilled over into art domain ; replication of apparent with digital manipulation and, camera use has taken over from the inner creative well of humanity. The technologies are not the blood and marrow of humanity, instead the direction, freedom, the vision from within are the structure of human enterprise. To abnegate the world of stock appearances we need to have inner spiritual cues. Not the knowledge of the external but the saturating unitary experience of the inner. In my art I work with chance and attempted negation of conscious, well planned, control of the artistic expression. I surrender so the Light will shine on creativity. The joining of Chance as a higher order of things with a consciousness that comes from within and transforms our 'seeing' is what my art is about. I call it Chance-Consciousness Art or Chancon.

The second part of the book is called Mona Lisa does not smile anymore. The painting is a symbol of the so called Renaissance society. In the very time Vasco da Gama journeyed to India, would begin the story of pain, sufferings and subjugation of Indians the first experience of Colonialism. The rest of the world would suffer no less-slave trade, forced conversions, atrocities and Inquisition in the name of religion. It was a false Renaissance which caused untold suffering to people all over the world and the Mona Lisa's smile was not shared by subjugated races. Here I deal with Indian art that was called inferior by Western colonists. It was the ruse of the colonizers to dub everything from the subjugated people to be inferior. The ancient Hinduism has a far deeper humanitarian philosophy at its back and the art created there from had a much deeper aesthetics root in Humanism. I have argued that the Greco-Roman art that the West inherited was founded on arrogance, war and slavery and was therefore inferior as humanizing instrument. Indian art is poetic, spiritual, secular and with a great wisdom and philosophy behind it. I have touched upon the narratives of travellers from Europe and China. While the former are very dismissive of Indian, art, religion, culture and people, the Chinese on the other were highly respectful and record the flourishing India more truthfully. Chinese travelled as pilgrims and seekers of Eternal truth in the religion of Gautam Buddha.

It is important to place all art in the context of humanity and Indian art acquits itself very well where as the same can not be said of West. Hinduism never demonized another faith and Indians had a placid curiosity and respect for other faiths and this I say substantially from history of ancient times and partly from the records of the times of Mughals, especially Akbar and Jehangir both of whom allowed and welcomed missionaries in their courts.

There is need therefore to change the racial-colonial interpretation of Indian art since colonial rulers had vested interest to preposition 'their' religion and art as superior and as proof they proffered their power to subjugate and colonize. This mindset could be seen in some old religious murals and paintings in Europe that demonized Muslims as barbarians and ruthless, (of course they were at war with each other) I saw in a painting in a museum in Romania Alexander portrayed handsome godlike, a great warrior and Puru the Indian king rendered as potbellied, weakling, timid and ugly. The painting had a racist tone.

There is need to have a fresh look at the history of Indian art without colonial glasses and this book attempts to do that in a small measure. The intention is to provoke a debate and see what has been consciously ignored or not seen in art of India.


1 Front cover Goddess Shantinath Jain temple (12th century) Jhalrapatan Rajasthan  
2 Hoysaleswara Halebidu earlier Dwarsamudra 1121AD Karnataka 12
3 A bird flies over sun-kissed Tungbhadra Vijaynagar Karnataka 14
4 Gandhi painting (2010) by Viktor Vijay 33
5 Gomateswara at Sravanbelgola Karnataka 34
6 Timeless Beauty sclupture from Baroli Temples Rajasthan 55
7 Ast bhuja Durga Sun temple Jhalrapatan Rajasthan 56
8 Africa oil painting Viktor Vijay (1997) 94
9 Celebration of Life Sun temple sculptures on outer walls Jhalrapatan Rajasthan 98
10 Swords over Roses sculpture from Menal temples Rajasthan 118-119
11 Carved ornate marble interior Ranakpur lain temple Rajasthan 122
12 Embroidery in Stone exquisite temple sculpture (8th century Chalukya) from World Heritage Site UNESCO at Pattadakal Karnataka 146
13 A New Dawn sun over Chittaurgarh Rajasthan 148
14 People waiting for famine relief in Bangalore from Illustrated London News Oct 20 (1877) 169
15 Varaha avatar rescuing Bhudevi-Earth Goddess (early 5th century Gupta Empire) at Udayagiri Vidisha Madhya Pradesh 188
16 Siva, painting b;: Viktor Vijay 190
17 The Window to world, painting by Viktor Vijay 191
18 Lookingfor Divinity painting (2010) Viktor Vijay (back cover)  


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