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Volume 52 Number 4, June 2001

Volume 52 Number 4

Architecture of Rajasthan

From the General Editor’s Desk

Of Buildings and Books: The Theory and Practice of the Architect Mandan
Rima Hooja

Mandala by Design: The Courtyard of a Haveli Temple in Jaipur
Vibhuti Sachdev

Palaces of the Rajput Kings
Giles Tillotson

Dating the Nataraja Dance Icon: Technical Insights
Sharada Srinivasan

On the God-Mask in the Dionysia and Indra Jatra
Francois Pannier, translated by Christophe Roustan Delatour

Newsletters

Book Reviews

From the General Editor's Desk
Pal, Pratapaditya
Vol. 52 No. 4, June 2001, pp. 10-11

The editorial denounces the destruction in March 2001 by the Taliban of the two colossal Buddha statues in Bamiyan, Afghanistan and similar vandalism of monuments and art in Tibet and Central Europe, and the reactions of governments and cultural agencies like UNESCO.

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Of Buildings and Books: The Theory and Practice of the Architect Mandan
Hooja, Rima
Vol. 52 No. 4, June 2001, pp. 12-27 [Also in Stones in the Sand: The Architecture of Rajasthan edited by Giles Tillotson; Vol. 52 No. 4, June 2001; ISBN: 81-85026-52-1, pp. 12-27]

The writings and practices of Mandan, the most famous Rajasthani architect of the 15th century and one of Maharana Kumbha of Mewar's most prolific architects is placed in the context of the famous forts of Chittorgarh and Kumbhalgarh. These are amongst the older buildings of the region to have survived substantially intact, though they owed much to older traditions of architecture. The author shows how Mandan's treatises were derived from earlier textual sources of architectural theory - the shilpa shastras - particularly those composed in Rajasthan.

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Mandala by Design: The Courtyard of a Haveli Temple in Jaipur
Sachdev, Vibhuti
Vol. 52 No. 4, June 2001, pp. 28-41 [Also in Stones in the Sand: The Architecture of Rajasthan edited by Giles Tillotson; Vol. 52 No. 4, June 2001; ISBN: 81-85026-52-1, pp. 28-41]

A design tool central to traditional Indian architecture is the Vastu Purusha Mandala. Here, the courtyard of a haveli temple in Jaipur is analysed using the fundamental principles of this mandala, in order to demonstrate how an assimilation of even one aspect of the theory of architecture can unleash communication with the building and can transform our reading of it.

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Palaces of the Rajput Kings
Tillotson, Giles
Vol. 52 No. 4, June 2001, pp. 42-53 [Also in Stones in the Sand: The Architecture of Rajasthan edited by Giles Tillotson; Vol. 52 No. 4, June 2001; ISBN: 81-85026-52-1, pp. 42-53]

The palaces that were built for the Rajput kings and their courts during the period of Mughal supremacy together represent a distinct courtly civilization. From fortified retreats to lakeside resorts, the buildings vary widely in function; but they are united by a common, evolving style and a shared aesthetic of great imaginative invention.

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Dating the Nataraja Dance Icon: Technical Insights
Srinivasan, Sharada
Vol. 52 No. 4, June 2001, pp. 54-69
From a study of the metal technology of south Indian "pancha-loha" icons, using finger-printing methods such as lead isotope analysis, the chronology of the celebrated Nataraja bronze of Shiva as cosmic dancer is reviewed. Tracing its emergence to the Pallavas, circa 8th century, its artistic development is explored with respect to issues such as the coeval rise of its worship at Chidambaram, patronage by Chola queens and dance iconography in stone and bronze. The prescience behind the concepts of Nataraja and Chidambaram, which appeal to the scientific temper, is reflected upon.
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On the God-Mask in the Dionysia and Indra Jatra
Pannier, Francois – Translated by Delatour, Christophe Roustan
Vol. 52 No. 4, June 2001, pp. 70-79

The author draws parallels between the Greek Dionysia held to celebrate the festival of Dionysus, Greek god of wine, and the Indra Jatra, the week-long agrarian festival held in the Kathmandu valley. The use of masks in both festivals, the association with the pine tree, and agriculture and fertility, alcohol, and animal sacrifice, and the similarities between mythologies relating to Indra and Dionysus are discussed. The display of masks of Bhairava during Indra Jatra raises the question of who Bhairava represents. Though usually associated with Shiva, the writer suggests that in this context it could be Indra who is depicted in "terrible" form.

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Newsletters
Vol. 52 No. 4, June 2001, pp. 80-92

Kavita Singh reports from New Delhi on the Tenth Triennale, India and a presentation made by Geeta Kapur and Ashish Rajadhyaksha on the exhibition Bombay/Mumbai; Monisha Ahmed reports on the fate of the textile crafts and historic houses of Kutch in the aftermath of the Bhuj earthquake; John Siudmak reports on the reopening of the Musee de Guimet after a long period of closure for renovation; Donald Stadtner reports on the unveiling of the Chester and Davida Herwitz Collection of contemporary Indian art at the Peabody Essex Museum and other exhibitions on photography in colonial India in Washington and London.

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Book Reviews
Vol. 52 No. 4, June 2001, pp. 93-100

Kalighat Painting: Images from a Changing World by Jyotindra Jain reviewed by Kavita Singh; Khajuraho by Devangana Desai reviewed by Pratapaditya Pal; Book notices on The Ajanta Caves: Ancient Paintings of Buddhist India by Benoy K. Behl; Lives of Indian Images by Richard H. Davis; Parvati - Goddess of Love by Harsha Dehejia; Elephanta: the Cave of Shiva by Carmel Berkson, Wendy Doniger and George Michell; Gods and Masks of the Kathmandu Valley by Anne Vergati; Parsi Statues by Marzban J. Giara; Agile Hands and Creative Minds: A Bibliography of Textile Traditions In Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka by Donald Clay Johnson.

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