Architecture and Painting [Editorial]
Vol. 5 No. 2, October 1951, pp. 2-5
The quest for a new style of architecture in the 19th century, with changed conditions and new material, met with an occasional success as in the Crystal Palace of 1851, but Eugene Viollet-le-Duc's rational style, analogous architecture, and mathematical economy of structure, provided a sense of direction to European architecture. At the turn of the century, architecture was viewed as an art of pure utility and without ornamentation, and this corresponds to the spirit of analytical cubism. This subtle change, first perceived in painting, was reflected in the work of Walter Behrens and Walter Gropius. The free abstract painting further affected architecture by liberating it from tradition, as in the work of Le Corbusier, the most influential living architect. The future architect needs to adopt Corbusier's rationality and breadth of vision, instead of merely imitating his forms.
The Crystal and the Fruit: Some Critical Notes on the Sculpture of Western India
Vol. 5 No. 2, October 1951, pp. 6-15
Discussed are certain basic values of Indian plastic art which the sculptors of western India brought to full flowering. The essay proposes the existence of two fundamentally different plastic sensibilities, common to all world art: in crystalline sculpture the tension is created by forces conveying towards the centre; in fruity sculpture by forces trying to burst the shaping surface. This sensibility is primarily of the sculptor and not of the religion or philosophy he is serving. In the creative period, Indian sculptures belong to sign of the fruit. The plastic imagination of the sculptor is transformed into reality at Elephanta, and Kailasha at Ellora. The decadence in later centuries, when imagination slackened and surface tension was replaced by gesture and decoration, is observed at Ambernath. Western Indian sculptors expressed forces of life in the form of the human body, particularly female. Nina von Leyden's drawings complement the author's thoughts on the subject.
West Asiatic Ancestors of the Anda
Vol. 5 No. 2, October 1951, pp. 16-23
The article indicates some of the underlying sources and interrelations of the cosmological religious speculations, of which the stupa is the supreme expression. The small holy home at the top of the Akkadian Ziggurat (mountain peak) is the antecedent of the Buddhist harmika, while the umbrella-shaped canopy above half-stepped lozenges shown in south Iranian pottery is the ancestor of the chatta. The ultimate source of the stupa lies in the varying aspects of the ancient cosmological mountain, and the stupa dome was originally the Milky Way. As indicated by another creation myth, the dome is also the anda (egg). Thus, Buddhism preserves some ancient cosmological metaphysical concepts which originate from West Asia.
Five Miniatures in the Collection of Sir Cowasji Jehangir, Bart., Bombay
Vol. 5 No. 2, October 1951, pp. 24-32
This is a collection well known in India and abroad. The first miniature discussed is a portrait of Ibrahim Adil Shah II, whose reign is the high-water mark of Deccani painting as indicated by the list of notable works in his period. The painting is by Murtaza Khan and clearly a product of the Deccani school. The second painting, of a Deccani prince or nobleman by Abdul Qadir, is ascribed to the 17th century as it shows Mughal influence of Aurangzeb's period. The date of the third miniature, an illustration to the Iyar-i-Danish, is accepted as 1606 CE. The lady depicted in the miniature of the Kishangarh school is tentatively identified as Radha, while the fifth painting of dervishes is attributed to Shanker, one of Akbar's court painters.
Pattadakal: A Short Historical Note
Vol. 5 No. 2, October 1951, pp. 33-39
Pattadakal in Bijapur district became a town of importance in the 8th century. This note on the outstanding features of its temples – the treatment of human form in sculpture (resembling those of Mahabalipuram), the depiction of force in action, the coexistence of northern and Dravidian style temples, and the birth of the northern medieval spire or sikhara (particularly seen on the Papanatha and Kashinatha temples) -- is accompanied by Raymond Burnier's photographs of temples and sculptures depicting Shiva and Parvati.
A Landmark in Indian Art History: The Art of India and Pakistan
Vol. 5 No. 2, October 1951, pp. 40-44
Comments on The Art of India and Pakistan. A Commemorative Catalogue of the Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art, London 1947-48. edited by Leigh Ashton.
Vol. 5 No. 2, October 1951, pp. 45-51
The true reaction of the Gupta art critics to the achievements of their age is summed up Rupa-Sattra (beauty culture). The decorative elements of four specimens of Gupta period sculpture from the Mathura Museum -- three female heads and one of the Buddha -- portray the ideals of rupa (beauty) and anuttara jnana (attainment of highest wisdom) during the Gupta age.
Bharata Natya Sastra: The 108 Karanas
Vol. 5 No. 2, October 1951, pp. 52-71
108 Karanas (dance movements) of Bharata Natyam are carved with inscriptions in one of the gopurams of the temple of Sri Nataraja at Chidambaram. These are described here for the first time, supported by sketches for many of them.
Textiles: Critical Notes on Recent Publications
Vol. 5 No. 2, October 1951, pp. 72-80
Notes on Indian Costumes by G. S. Ghurye (Dr Moti Chandra); The Romance of Indian Embroidery by Kamala S. Dongerkery (Pupul Jayakar); The Patolu of Gujerat by A.N. Gulati (John Irwin)
Vol. 5 No. 2, October 1951, pp. 82-84
Notes on exhibitions in Bombay and Delhi.