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Foreword   The book is primarily a product of painstaking field research conducted over two years (2008-10). The book commences with a brief general introduction on the painting traditions in India and is followed by a more detailed introductory essay on the mural traditions of Kerala, their styles, techniques and contents.   The core of the book is a detailed catalogue of all the wall-paintings in the seven Centrally Protected Monuments...

Foreword

 

The book is primarily a product of painstaking field research conducted over two years (2008-10). The book commences with a brief general introduction on the painting traditions in India and is followed by a more detailed introductory essay on the mural traditions of Kerala, their styles, techniques and contents.

 

The core of the book is a detailed catalogue of all the wall-paintings in the seven Centrally Protected Monuments in Kerala. These are: 1. Vadakurnnsathar Temple, Trissur 2. Mahadeva Temple, Peruvanam 3. Mahadeva Temple, Tiruvanjikulam 4. Mahadeva Temple, Chemmanthitta 5. Mahadeva Temple, Pallimanna. 6. Sri Rama Temple, Triprayar and 7. Mattancherry Palace, Mattancherry, Kochi.

 

The paintings mostly date from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries. The theme of the paintings is mainly drawn from Hindu religion and mythology but there are a few paintings based on secular themes including court scenes and royal personages. The total number of paintings documented is more than 300.

 

Although there have been a few earlier publications on Kerala murals, all of them have dealt with the paintings in a broad manner and in the process, have failed to describe or catalogue them in a detailed fashion. Thus, the present book is the first ever attempt at a detailed documentation, accompanied by photographs and line drawings, of the historical paintings of Kerala. The book includes several hitherto unknown and unpublished paintings some of which came to light during the recent conservation of the monuments by the Trissur Circle of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Each figure and design in each painting has been described and analyzed. In the process, a few very rare themes, unknown in mural or sculptural

 

art anywhere else in India, have come to light. Such themes include God Shiva in slumber (Panivaraisayanam) and war hero Bishma lying on a bed of arrows in the famous epic Mahabharata. Some of these themes are seen in the medieval art of Cambodia. Further, some of the paintings, lying at inconvenient heights in dark cor- ridors of the monuments, have been photographed and interpreted for the first time. It has been ensured that the colour of thermal are reproduced in the illustrations.

 

The volume will definitely prove to be a valuable reference manual for art historians, archaeologists, art students and all others interested in India's cultural heritage.

 

I appreciate the authors, publisher and all others associated with this project.

 

Preface

 

The state of Kerala, in southwestern India, has an exclusive and distinct type of mural art. The earliest representations of this style of murals are noticed in the Tirunandikara cave at the Kanyakumari District of the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu. This mural tradition flourished almost throughout Kerala. It continues to impact several present day artists both in and outside Kerala.

 

The murals of Kerala have, earlier, been studied and published by a few scholars such as Shashibhooshan Ramachandran and Marar. Yet, so far, there has hardly been any detailed micro-level study of these paintings. Against this background, we took up the detailed documentation of the murals depicted in seven Centrally Protected Monuments under the jurisdiction of the Thrissur Circle of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

 

This is the first ever comprehensive and integrated study of the Kerala Murals, focusing on the minutest details of each painting and we deem it a great honour to present this material before you.

 

The volume is intended for academic specialists, serious tourists and the general readers. As far as possible, non-English, mainly Sanskrit and Malayalam, words and technical terms have been avoided. Whenever such a term is used, its meaning is, in most instances, clearly explained in the text. In addition the Glossary explains some such terms.

 

We are extremely grateful to Dr.Rakesh Tewari Director General, ASI, for appreciating our efforts and publishing this work. We express our sincere gratitude to Dr. B.R.Mani, Additional Director General, ASI and Dr. D.N. Dimri, Director (Publications), ASI, New Delhi for all their help and encouragement. We are equally thankful to Dr. Arundhati Banerji, Superintending Archaeologist (S.A.) (Retd.), ASI, for all her support. We also express our sincere thanks to Shri Daljeet Singh, Superintending Archaeologist (Publications) and Shri. Hoshiar Singh, Production Officer, AS!. We are extremely happy to record the valuable assistance received from Shri K.P. Rajan, Senior Conservation Assistant, M.Mani, Librarian, Smt. Lekshmi, Draughtsman, Shri, L.R. Rakes, Surveyor, Shri Suresh Kumar, Artist, Shri Basavaraj, Photographer and other officials in the Thrissur Circle. Shri Aswin, Photographer, Bangalore who helped in finalizing the plates also needs appreciation.

 

Prof M.G.S. Narayanan, former Chairman, Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) provided scholarly inputs which made this book more reader- friendly. Shri M.G. Sashibhooshan also provided valuable suggestions for the volume. We are most grateful to both of them.

 

We are also grateful to Smt. Gita Siddhartha, Chief Executive, Visual Communication, New Delhi for bringing out this beautiful volume within the limited time made available to her.

 

Special thanks to Smt. Kala Nambirajan and her sons Karthik, Akshath and Ankith, who supported us at every stage of this project.

 

Introduction

 

This publication is primarily a product of field research carried out over a period of two years (2008-10). The volume commences with a brief general introduction to the painting traditions in India with a little more detailed introductory essay on the mural traditions of Kerala, their styles, techniques and contents.

 

The core of the volume is a detailed catalogue of the wall-paintings in the Centrally Protected Monuments in Kerala. These are:

1.   Mahadeva Temple, Peruvanam,

2.   Mahadeva Temple, Tiruvanchikulam.

3.   Mahadeva Temple, Chemmanthitta.

4.   Mahadeva Temple, Pallimanna.

5.   Sri Rama Temple, Triprayar.

6.   Vadakkunnathar Temple, Thrissur.

7.   Mattancherry Palace, Mattancherry, Kochi.

 

For each monument, the documentation includes:

1.   Introduction to the monument-

      its location, history, architecture and paintings.

2.   Detailed description of the style, contents and wherever possible, colour scheme of each painting.

3.   Size of each painted panel.

4.   Ground plan of each monument clearly indicating the precise location of each painting.

5.   High resolution digital photograph of each painting.

 

The paintings mostly date from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries AD. The theme of the paintings is mainly drawn from Hindu religion and mythology but there are a few paintings based on secular themes including court scenes and royal personages.

 

Although there have been a few earlier publications on Kerala murals, all of them have dealt with the paintings in a broad manner and in the process, have failed to describe or catalogue them in a detailed fashion. Thus, the present volume is the first ever attempt at a detailed documentation, accompanied by photographs of the historical paintings of Kerala. The volume includes several hitherto unknown and unpublished paintings some of which came to light during the recent conservation and chemical preservation of the monuments by the Thrissur Circle of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

 

Each figure and design in each painting has been described and analyzed. Further, some of the paintings, lying at inconvenient heights in dark corridors of the monuments, have been photographed and interpreted for the first time. In the process, a few very rare themes, unknown in mural or sculptural art anywhere else in India, have come to light. Such themes include God Siva in slumber (Panivarai Sayanami and war hero Bhishma of Mahabharata lying on a bed of arrows. Incidentally, some of these themes are also seen in the medieval art of Cambodia.

 

Contents

 

Foreword

 

Preface

 

Glossary

9-12

Map and Introduction

13-15

Mural and Traditions with Special Reference to Kerala

16-19

Mahadeva Temple, Peruvanam

20-55

Mahadeva Temple, Tiruvanchikulam

56-73

Mahadeva Temple, Chemmanthitta

74-103

Mahadeva Temple, Pallimanna

104-131

Sri Rama Temple, Triprayar

132-187

Vadakkunnathar Temple, Thrissur

188-251

Mattancherrry Palace, Mattancherry , Kochi

252-297

Select Bibliography

298

 

Sample Pages


Item Code: NAL413 Author: Dr. M. Nambirajan and Dr. S. Suresh Cover: Hardcover Edition: 2015 Publisher: Archaeological Survey of India ISBN: 9789350864883 Language: English Size: 11.0 inch x 8.5 inch Pages: 300 (Throughout Color Illustrations) Other Details: Weight of the Book: 1.4 kg
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