Heritage of the Punjab [Editorial]
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, pp. 2-3
The traditions and culture of the Punjab, through 3000 years and successive civilizations that left their impress on the land and people, were almost forgotten, until partition drove home the lessons that culture can die from a lapse of memory and a break in tradition, and the growth of any new culture must have roots in the soil. The present generation exhibits a sensitiveness and awareness of the creative arts, and this holds promise for the future. In spite of the recent sorrow and despair, the vitality of the people of the Punjab has resulted in the Bhakra Nangal power project, and India's first model village.
Ancient Period: Archaeology in the Punjab
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, pp. 4-14
Ancient monuments and finds in the Punjab accentuate the neglected state of archaeological research and the potential for further excavations, with the participation of private enterprise. The "key sites" excavated are Harappa and Taxila. Harappan life was characterized by well-ordered cities, copper implements, and other reckoners of culture and civilization, while Taxila, systematically excavated by Sir John Marshall, consists of the three successive towns of Bhir, Sirkap, and Sirsukh, dating between the Mauryas and the 6th-7th centuries CE. The Bhir mound yielded coins of Alexander the Great, Buddhistic establishments, and sculptures in grey schist (end 1st century BCE to 4th century CE), stucco (5th-6th centuries). Other important sites examined are in Kangra (with monuments of the Buddhist, Jaina, Hindu, and Sikh periods), Kurukshetra, the Salt Range and its neighbourhood, and the districts of Hissar, Rohtak, and Multan.
Mediaeval Period: Antiquities of the Punjab Hill Districts of Chamba
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, pp. 15-18 [Preliminary by Marg]
The preliminary by Marg introduces the article, which looks at the scanty evidence available for the transition from the ancient to the medieval period in the Punjab. The three temples of Brahmor, Chatrarhi, and Markula-Udaipur contain wooden reliefs and brass statues contemporary with the central Indian art of the Buddhist and Hindu cave temples of Ajanta and Ellora. The Brahmor and Chatrarhi temples represent later Gupta and Buddhist art, while the Markula-Udaipur temple carries the last remnants of the lost late Kashmir art, which was a source of the Tibetan tradition.
Mediaeval Period: Splendours of Mughal Architecture- Notes
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, 6 unnumbered after p. 18
The buildings noted (with sketches) are Jahangir's tomb, the shrine of Guru Arjan Mal, Lahore fort, Gulabi Bagh Gateway, Shalimar Gardens, Badshahi Masjid, the mausoleum of Ranjit Singh, and the mosque of Wazir Khan. This selection of Islamic architecture, all in the Punjab, shows the links in the chain between the ancient Hindu and the medieval Islamic experiments.
Mediaeval Period: Remnants in the Kangra Valley
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, pp. 19-22
An account of the architecture of the Kangra fort and its political vicissitudes is followed by a description of the temples both within the fort and in Kangra towns: the so-called temples of Lakshmi-Narayana and Sitala; Ambika Devi; Indresvara; and Vajresvari or Mata Devi. Besides discussion of the structural remains at these sites (some destroyed by the earthquake of 1905), the essay also contains insights on dating and attribution.
Mediaeval Period: Synthesis of Hindu and Muslim Influences in the Sikh Shrines at Amritsar
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, pp. 23–26 + 2 unnumbered
Sikh architecture appears to be of Mughal extraction and a result of adaptations and elaborations, but it has its own distinctive characteristics such as multiple chattris (kiosks), a fluted dome generally covered with brass or copper gilt, oriel or embowed windows, and arches with foliation. The principal examples are the Golden Temple which dates from 1764, and the Harmandir complex.
The Techniques of Fresco Painting [According to the late Bhai Gian Singh Naqqash]
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, pp. 27-29
The various stages of fresco painting are described. Other allied arts are gach (gypsum) work (seen in the first storey of the main shrine of the Golden Temple, Amritsar), tukri work (setting of glass pieces in Gach), and jaratkari work or "munavat" (inlaying of coloured stone in marble).
Problems of Painting in the Punjab Hills
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, pp. 30–36 + 2 unnumbered
In the face of controversies surrounding the identification, provenance, and dating of hill paintings, the writer follows up his notion that a picture's provenance is relevant for determining its style. As a specific instance, he takes up the paintings (from private and public collections) illustrated in M.S. Randhawa's book "Kangra Valley Paintings". The 24 paintings in private collections are ascribed to specific regional styles on the basis of the common stylistic elements of the pictures and the location of the collection.
Specimens of Paintings Under the Sikhs
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, pp. 37-44
Paintings under the Sikhs at Lahore include remnants of authentic Kangra and other Pahari art. Later, the paintings of the Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh pupils of the hill masters developed a formalist pattern, and insistence on portraiture led to a gradually diminishing vitality. Darbar, domestic, and mythological scenes retained a certain vitality (as in "Signature of the Treaty of Lahore", 1846), but there was a loss of depth and intensity as compared to Kangra paintings. The Rajput style, after it began to be practised under Sikh patronage, quickly lapsed for three reasons: the tradition becoming hybrid; the influence of portraits (of Sikh Gurus) in the Mughal style on Rajput paintings; and the flood of European miniature portraits which finally degenerated into bazar portraits. The degeneration was particularly rapid in the portraits of Sikh Gurus.
Contemporary: Le Corbusier's Ideal of Town Planning
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, pp. 45–47
Le Corbusier identifies the fundamental elements of town planning, and stresses the need to re-establish the conditions of nature in man's life
Contemporary: Chandigarh: Symposium
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, pp. 48-50
Pierre Jeanneret opines that modern Indian architecture should be in accordance with contemporary needs, and its beauty is not necessarily enhanced by a forcible induction of certain features from ancient Indian architecture. He justifies the buildings and town-planning of Chandigarh by Le Corbusier. T.J. Manickam appreciates Chandigarh as a bold experiment in the right direction, but expresses his reservations regarding the conception of some of the buildings. Mansinh M. Rana advises against any experimentation with human lives in planning, and is critical of some of the structural elements in Chandigarh.
Contemporary: Bhakra Nangal Dam
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, pp. 51-52
This is one of the biggest river valley projects in the world. It consists of five main components: Nangal dam; Nangal hydel channel; Ganguwal and Kotla power houses; Bhakra canals; and Bhakra dam. Details of the Bhakra dam are outlined here.
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, pp. 53-55
The pioneer attempt at a model village at Shamaspur (Gurgaon district) -- built by the people through a village cooperative -- consists of basic houses, each with 2-3 rooms, a smokeless kitchen, separate cattle shed, and granary. Electricity comes from Bhakra Nangal, and there are wide roads planted with trees and flower-beds. Layout plans of the village and different types of houses are illustrated.
Jallianwalla Bagh Memorial
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, pp. 56-58
Details of the 45-foot-high flame of martyrdom in Amritsar, and its enclosure, are given here, with an illustration of the plan of the memorial. The architect is Benjamin Polk, associated with T. R. Mahendru.
Amrita Sher Gil
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, 2 unnumbered pages
Profile of the painter Amrita Sher-Gil.
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, p. 59
Profile of the painter K.C. Aryan.
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, p. 60
Profile of the sculptor Dhanraj Bhagat.
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, p. 61
Profile of the painter Satish Gujral.
Har Kishen Lal
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, p. 62
Profile of the painter Har Kishen Lal.
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, p. 63
Profile of the painter Kanwal Krishna.
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, p. 64
Profile of the painter Krishen Khanna.
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, p. 65
Profile of the painter Ram Kumar.
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, p. 66
Profile of the painter Prannath Mago.
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, p. 67
Profiles of the painter Bhabesh Sanyal.
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, p. 68
Profile of the sculptor Prashar.
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, p. 69
Profile of the sculptor Amarnath Sehgal.
Sardar Thakur Singh
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, p. 70
Profile of the painter Sardar Thakur Singh.
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, p. 71
Profile of the painter Sobha Singh.
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, pp. 72-74
Profile of the pottery artist Sardar Gurcharan Singh.
Dance: Bhangra and Giddha
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, pp. 75-76
A brief description of the performance of these dances is accompanied by sketches depicting the dance poses. The season for the Bhangra dance starts with the sowing of wheat, and it is performed by men, while the Giddha is performed by the women of Punjab.
Music: Sheila Bhatia's Opera on Heer Ranja
Vol. 10 No. 2, March 1957, pp. 77-78
Sketches of Waris Shah’s epic.