Bulletin of the Museum of Fine Arts Volume 15-17

9781236355980: Bulletin of the Museum of Fine Arts Volume 15-17

This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1917 Excerpt: ...and a few frescoes in Ceylon. There is not, however, the least doubt that the art was continuously practiced--on a large scale upon plastered walls, and on a small scale on wooden panels and on cotton cloth, afterwards also on paper. lt is precisely in Rajputana and the Himalayas--comparatively inaccessible to Mughal domination, and even to this day intensely conservative--that the older traditions of painting best survived, not only in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but even up to the end of the eighteenth century, comparatively little affected by the Persian and European influences which enter so largely into the art of the Mughal courts. An absolute continuity of subject matter is' not, of course, to be expected, for we must take into account the decline of Buddhism, which provided the themes for all the painting of Ajanta. But the subjects taken from the epics, and many of the Vaishnava and Saiva themes are identical with those of the lost paintings of a thousand years earlier, the former existence of which is indicated in the literature, or paralleled in still extant sculpture. The actual themes of Raiput painting will be dealt with at greater length in subsequent articles. lt may be remarked here, however, that Rajput painting is both essentially and formally religious. lt interprets every experience of human life in the sense of a spiritual drama. lt is an art of ideas and of feeling: and in this respect it contrasts most markedly with the work of Persian and Mughal artists, which is almost exclusively preoccupied with secular themes, and in the latter case, with portraiture. There exists, moreover, the closest relationship between the Rajput paintings and the contemporary vemacular poetry (in Hindi): and while in a few cases the work...

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