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Volume 3 Number 4, November 1949

Volume 3 Number 4

The Changing Conceptions of Art (Editorial)
Herbert Read 

The Charter of Athens: A Treatise on Town Planning

Durga Shankar Bajpai

"The Way of Pleasure": The Kishangarh Paintings
Eric Dickinson 

Ganjifa, The Playing Cards of India
R. and N. Von Leyden

The Calico Museum of Textiles at Ahmedabad
Hermann Goetz

Vande Mataram

Book Reviews

Exhibition Notes

Drama: Ahooti

The Changing Conceptions of Art [Editorial]
Read, Herbert
Vol. 3 No. 4, November 1949, pp. 6-9

The impressionist movement; impact of science on art and absorption of knowledge; Cezanne's attitude, technique and analytical procedure; and the arrival of psychology as a science - all these led to changes in art forms during the 19th century. However, the decisive change in the conception of art is attributed to Picasso's picture of about 1907, which set in motion the movement of cubism with its subsequent splinters of analytical and synthetic cubists. Abstract art, which rejects the idea that art must be dependent on nature, is yet another ingredient to the changing notion of art, and this form is compared with classical art. The writer finds justification for all these movements, and considers harmony as the overriding trait of art.

The Charter of Athens: A Treatise on Town Planning
Vol. 3 No. 4, November 1949, pp. 10-17

This is an English translation of the German text. It lays down the basic principles and essential demands of urbanism, i.e. town planning. The problems of habitation, recreation, work places, the traffic system, and preservation of historical heritage are identified, and solutions advanced for each of these. Private interests must remain subordinate to collective interest.

Bajpai, Durga Shankar
Vol. 3 No. 4, November 1949, pp. 18-28
The town planning of the city, founded by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh in 1728, follows a scheme of the Shilpa-Shastra. Its characteristic features are grid-pattern roads, precincts, open squares, gateways, palace gardens, motifs borrowed from Bengal, Delhi and Agra, and the courtyard-plan of the houses. The use of stone, together with lattice work, carvings, and projecting balconies, gives a typical character to the architecture. It is concluded that the town planning displays the feudal society and caste-segregation of the time, and also the elements of tradition and creativity.
The Way of Pleasure: The Kishangarh Paintings
Dickinson, Eric
Vol. 3 No. 4, Dipavali 1949, pp. 29–35 + 1 unnumbered leaf between pp. 28–29
The quest of the writer to correlate the Kishangarh miniatures, depicting the love of Radha for Krishna, with the poems of Nagari Das (alias Maharaja Sawant Singh) leads him to conclude that the hedonistic appeal of the paintings receives confirmation from the Pushti Marga (= way of pleasure) doctrine of the Vallabhacharya sect, of which Nagari Das was a follower. It is also stated that the best poems of Nagari Das had their illustrated companions in the paintings, which were executed in the second half of the 18th century by Nihal Chand. The striking stylization of Radha and Krishna renders a distinctive character to these paintings.
Ganjifa: The Playing Cards of India
von Leyden, R. and von Leyden, N.
Vol. 3 No. 4, November 1949, pp. 36-56
The origin and practice of Ganjifa and related card games are detailed. It is suggested that Ganjifa was a Muslim adaptation of a Hindu game, and it is called the Dashavatara game when the pack bears images of the 10 incarnations of Vishnu. The materials, colourful symbols, shapes and sizes, different playing systems, and centres of manufacture of these handmade 10-suit Dashavatara, 8-suit Ganjifa, and related games are elucidated. A comparative analysis of the origin of the card game in India and the West leads to the conclusion that the 10-suit Dashavatara and similar games were played in practically every part of India before the card game appeared in Europe, and that the game may have developed in India before going West. However, once European playing cards were introduced to India in the 16th century, the playing of Ganjifa games declined.
The Calico Museum of Textiles at Ahmedabad
Goetz, Hermann
Vol. 3 No. 4, November 1949, pp. 57-61
The establishment of this private museum designed by Gautam Sarabhai, presents an opportunity to revive dying crafts in India. It establishes a return to the fundamental principles -- and not revival or imitation - of traditional industrial art, the earlier attempt by the "Art-in-Industry" Institute being insufficient. The remarkable features of this museum are its modern design in lighting and arrangement of exhibits, scope for historical study of Indian textiles as a living and modern Indian art, and visual education.
Vande Mataram
Vol. 3 No. 4, November 1949, pp. 62-65
This is a transcription by Shiva Sharan (Alain Danielou) of India's national song, written by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya and set to melody by Rabindranath Tagore. This is the Visva Bharati authorized version.
Vol. 3 No. 4, November 1949, pp. 66-67, 73

A note on the ritualistic floor decoration of Bengal from a brochure titled Alpona, by Tapan Mohan Chatterji and Tarak Chandra Das, illustrated by Abanindranath Tagore. A model of the kind of small art books Marg would like to promote; a list of books and periodicals received.

Exhibition Notes
J. M.
Vol. 3 No. 4, November 1949, pp. 68-72
Events in Bombay in the third quarter of 1949 including paintings by Devidas, a prodigy from Garhwal and by Alice Boner, the Artists Aid Fund exhibition, the Lintas show and a photography show; the South India Society of Painters, Madras; the Progressive Artists' Association of war-ravaged Kashmir.
Anand, Mulk Raj
Vol. 3 No. 4, November 1949, pp. 75-76

M.R.A.'s review of the play Ahooti by Lal Chand Bismil, produced by Prithvi Raj Kapoor.