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The Ragachitras of Mewar (Indian Musical Modes in Rajasthani Miniature Painting)

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Item Code: NAY908
Author: Anupa Pande
Publisher: Aryan Books International
Language: English
Edition: 2020
Pages: 304
Other Details 12.00 X 9.00 inch
Weight 1.68 kg
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Book Description
About the Book
The Ragachitras of Mewar

Indian Musical Modes in Rajasthani Miniature Painting

This book is a combination of both the theory of classical Indian music and its representation in visual arts in the form of ragachitras or raga paintings. It includes a textual, aesthetic and iconographic analysis of two significant sets of ragachitra folios from the Gem Palace Collection of the National Museum (New Delhi) and Bharat Kala Bhavan (Varanasi) through a comprehensive survey of primary sources in the form of musicological and iconographical treatises. In order to establish text-image coordination, verses of the ragachitras taken up in this book have been translated by the author from Sanskrit to English for the first time. The author's proficiency in Sanskrit, classical Indian music and Art History has been instrumental in making this book a scholarly publication.

About the Author
Prof. (Dr.) Anupa Pande is currently Professor and Head of the Department of History of Art and Director and Pro Vice Chancellor of the National Museum Institute of History of Art, Conservation and Museology (NMI), New Delhi. She has also served as Dean of NMI. She has been engaged in research and teaching for last thirty-six years in the University of Allahabad (1982-1995) and the National Museum Institute (1995-till date). She has published over forty research papers in reputed national and international journals and eight books on various aspects of Indian art, history, philosophy and culture. She is well versed in Sanskrit, Prakrit and Pali. She also has knowledge of German, Chinese and Persian.

She has delivered lectures in museums and universities in India and abroad. She has coordinated several international seminars, workshops and exhibitions. Currently she is coordinating an international project on the art of Champa. She represents India at Comite International d'Histoire de l'Art (CIHA) as its titular member. She is a representative member (NMI) of Council of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (SICI) and has been a member of prestigious national bodies such as Central Advisory Board of Archaeology (CABA). She has also been a member of the Board of Directors of the renowned International Association of Buddhist Studies (IABS).

The vast repertoire of Indian miniature painting constitutes an invaluable part of our heritage. Painted primarily for royal and courtly consumption, this art flourished throughout the country from the 16th century onwards and led to the fruition of different schools. Amongst the myriad themes that found expression in the visual medium, a distinct genre illustrating melodies of classical Indian music or ragas and raginis evolved during the 16th to the 19th centuries in Rajasthan, Malwa, the Punjab hills and the Deccan. These paintings, called ragachitras, represented a confluence of the audible with the visual and were executed with great elan. The concept of ragachitras entailed immortalizing melodies by the means of deification and personification, at times, investing them with a more profound meaning. The depiction of certain ragas and raginis was also based on their performance or the emotion or rasa that they evoked.

This book presents an extensive art historical, art critical and aesthetic discourse on ragachitras of the Mewar School which ranks as one of the most prominent sub-styles of the Rajasthani miniature painting tradition. The Mewar School rose to prominence in the Mewar region of Rajasthan, with Udaipur as its main centre. The ragachitra folios taken up for analysis in this book have been culled from the National Museum and form a part of the prestigious Gem Palace Collection, dated approximately to 1640-50 CE. In tracing the historicity of Mewar ragachitras, the earliest folios, dated to about 1575 CE, and presently housed at the Bharat Kala Bhavan, Varanasi have been discussed. The next set of ragachitra folios is ascribable to an artist named Nisardi. They were executed in 1605 CE at Chawand, which was the capital of Mewar under Maharana Pratap. These folios are dispersed in museum collections all over the world. It is quite apparent that the painting of ragachitras gained great currency in Mewar since they were executed throughout the 17th century with tremendous zeal. Another set of ragachitra folios which precedes the Gem Palace folios is held by the National Museum. These are conjectured to have been executed in 1627-28 CE by an artist named Sahibdin. In this book, all the aforementioned ragachitra folios have been investigated with regard to their visual and textual content alongside the Gem Palace folios for the purpose of comparative analysis as also to gain a holistic understanding of the style and content exemplified in the Gem Palace set.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages

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