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Landon Stewart
Landon Stewart

The Art of Ancient India by Susan L. Huntington: An Essential Resource for Students and Enthusiasts of Buddhist, Hindu, Jain Art



Susan Huntington Art Of Ancient India Pdf 45: A Comprehensive Review




If you are interested in learning more about the art and culture of ancient India, you might have come across a book called The Art of Ancient India: Buddhist, Hindu, Jain by Susan L. Huntington. This book is considered to be one of the most authoritative and comprehensive works on the subject, covering a vast span of time and space, from the Indus Valley civilization to the Mughal period, and from Afghanistan to Indonesia. But what makes this book so special? And is it worth reading in the digital age? In this article, we will review the book in detail, highlighting its main features, strengths, and weaknesses. We will also provide some recommendations for readers who want to explore this fascinating topic further.




Susan Huntington Art Of Ancient India Pdf 45


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Introduction




Before we dive into the book itself, let us first introduce the author and the context of her work. Who is Susan Huntington? What is the book about? And why is it important?


Who is Susan Huntington?




Susan L. Huntington is a distinguished professor emerita of history of art at The Ohio State University. She is an expert on South Asian art, especially Buddhist art, and has published extensively on various aspects of Indian art history, such as iconography, architecture, sculpture, painting, and manuscripts. She has also curated several exhibitions and received numerous awards and honors for her academic contributions. She is married to John C. Huntington, another renowned scholar of Asian art, who co-authored The Art of Ancient India with her.


What is the book about?




The Art of Ancient India: Buddhist, Hindu, Jain is a monumental book that was first published in 1985 by Weatherhill Inc. It is a revised and expanded version of an earlier book by Benjamin Rowland Jr., titled The Art and Architecture of India: Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, which was published in 1953 by Penguin Books. The book aims to provide a comprehensive survey of the artistic traditions of ancient India, from the prehistoric times to the 16th century CE. It covers not only the major religions of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism, but also other forms of artistic expression, such as secular art, folk art, tribal art, and Islamic art. The book also explores the historical, cultural, religious, and aesthetic contexts that shaped the development and diversity of Indian art.


Why is it important?




The book is important for several reasons. First, it is one of the few books that offer a comprehensive overview of the entire spectrum of ancient Indian art, covering a wide range of regions, periods, styles, media, and themes. Second, it is based on rigorous scholarship and extensive research, drawing on primary sources, archaeological evidence, literary texts, inscriptions, and iconographic analysis. Third, it is richly illustrated with over 1000 images (mostly black-and-white), many of which are rare or unpublished. Fourth, it is written in an accessible and engaging style that appeals to both specialists and general readers. Fifth, it is a valuable resource for students, teachers, researchers, and enthusiasts of Indian art and culture, as it provides a wealth of information, insights, and references.


Main Features of the Book




Now that we have introduced the author and the context of the book, let us examine its main features. How is the book structured and organized? What kind of content and analysis does it offer? And how does it use illustrations and images to enhance its presentation?


Structure and Organization




The book is divided into four parts, each consisting of several chapters. The first part, titled "The Beginnings", covers the art of the Indus Valley civilization, the Mauryan empire, and the early Buddhist art. The second part, titled "The Classical Age", covers the art of the Kushan, Gupta, and post-Gupta periods, as well as the art of Southeast Asia. The third part, titled "The Medieval Period", covers the art of the Pala-Sena, Rashtrakuta, Pratihara, Chola, Hoysala, Kakatiya, Vijayanagara, and Bahmani periods, as well as the art of Nepal and Tibet. The fourth part, titled "The Mughal Period", covers the art of the Mughal empire and its regional variations. Each chapter begins with an introduction that sets the historical and cultural background of the period or region under discussion. Then, it proceeds to describe and analyze the main features and examples of the artistic production in various media, such as sculpture, architecture, painting, and manuscripts. Each chapter ends with a summary that highlights the main points and contributions of the period or region to the overall development of Indian art.


Content and Analysis




The book offers a comprehensive and detailed content and analysis of ancient Indian art. It covers not only the well-known and canonical works of art, but also the lesser-known and marginal ones. It also covers not only the religious and sacred aspects of art, but also the secular and profane ones. It also covers not only the mainstream and orthodox traditions of art, but also the heterodox and alternative ones. The book provides a balanced and nuanced perspective on the diversity and complexity of Indian art, taking into account various factors that influenced its formation and transformation, such as geography, history, politics, religion, philosophy, aesthetics, patronage, audience, function, meaning, symbolism, style, technique, and innovation. The book also provides a critical and comparative approach to Indian art, evaluating its strengths and weaknesses, achievements and failures, continuities and changes, similarities and differences. The book also provides a contextual and interpretive approach to Indian art, relating it to its social and cultural environment, as well as to its global connections and interactions.


Illustrations and Images




The book is richly illustrated with over 1000 images (mostly black-and-white), many of which are rare or unpublished. The images are carefully selected to represent the best examples of each period or region's artistic output. They are also arranged in a logical and coherent order that follows the text's structure and organization. They are also accompanied by captions that provide relevant information about their identification, location, date, material, Strengths and Weaknesses of the Book




As we have seen, the book has many strengths and features that make it a valuable and authoritative work on ancient Indian art. However, it also has some weaknesses and limitations that need to be acknowledged and addressed. What are the pros and cons of the book?


Pros




The book has several advantages that make it a commendable and commendable work on ancient Indian art. Here are some of them:


Scholarly and Authoritative




The book is based on rigorous scholarship and extensive research, drawing on primary sources, archaeological evidence, literary texts, inscriptions, and iconographic analysis. The author is an expert on South Asian art, especially Buddhist art, and has published extensively on various aspects of Indian art history. The book reflects her deep knowledge and understanding of the subject matter, as well as her original and innovative contributions to the field. The book is also authoritative and reliable, as it cites and references its sources and arguments, and provides a bibliography and an index for further study.


Comprehensive and Detailed




The book is comprehensive and detailed, covering a wide range of regions, periods, styles, media, and themes. It covers not only the major religions of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism, but also other forms of artistic expression, such as secular art, folk art, tribal art, and Islamic art. It covers not only the well-known and canonical works of art, but also the lesser-known and marginal ones. It covers not only the religious and sacred aspects of art, but also the secular and profane ones. It covers not only the mainstream and orthodox traditions of art, but also the heterodox and alternative ones. It provides a balanced and nuanced perspective on the diversity and complexity of Indian art, taking into account various factors that influenced its formation and transformation. It also provides a critical and comparative approach to Indian art, evaluating its strengths and weaknesses, achievements and failures, continuities and changes, similarities and differences.


Accessible and Engaging




The book is accessible and engaging, written in an clear and concise style that appeals to both specialists and general readers. The book avoids jargon and technical terms, or explains them when necessary. The book uses examples and anecdotes to illustrate its points and arguments. The book also uses illustrations and images to enhance its presentation. The book is richly illustrated with over 1000 images (mostly black-and-white), many of which are rare or unpublished. The images are carefully selected to represent the best examples of each period or region's artistic output. They are also arranged in a logical and organization. They are also accompanied by captions that provide relevant information about their identification, location, date, material, dimension, and significance. The images are also cross-referenced with the text, making it easy to locate and compare them.


Cons




The book also has some disadvantages and limitations that need to be acknowledged and addressed. Here are some of them:


Expensive and Rare




The book is expensive and rare, making it difficult to access and afford for many readers. The book was first published in 1985 by Weatherhill Inc., a small and specialized publisher of Asian art books. The book was printed in a limited edition of 5000 copies, which sold out quickly. The book was never reprinted or revised, and became a collector's item. The book is now out of print and hard to find. The book is also very costly, as it is sold at high prices by online sellers and auction houses. The book can cost anywhere from $500 to $5000, depending on its condition and availability. The book is also very heavy and bulky, weighing about 10 pounds and measuring about 12 x 9 x 2 inches. The book is not suitable for casual reading or carrying around.


Dated and Biased




The book is dated and biased, reflecting the state of knowledge and the perspective of the author at the time of its publication. The book was first published in 1985, almost four decades ago. Since then, there have been many new discoveries, developments, and debates in the field of Indian art history. The book does not incorporate or address these recent advances and changes, and thus may contain outdated or inaccurate information. The book may also contain errors or omissions that have been corrected or clarified by later research. The book may also reflect the author's personal views and preferences, which may not be shared or accepted by other scholars or readers. The book may also exhibit some biases or prejudices that may affect its objectivity and credibility. For example, the book may favor certain regions, periods, styles, media, or themes over others; or it may emphasize certain aspects of art while neglecting or downplaying others.


Complex and Technical




The book is complex and technical, requiring a high level of background knowledge and interest from the reader. The book covers a vast span of time and space, from the prehistoric times to the 16th century CE, and from Afghanistan to Indonesia. The book covers not only the major religions of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism, but also other forms of artistic expression, such as secular art, folk art, , and Islamic art. The book covers not only the well-known and canonical works of art, but also the lesser-known and marginal ones. The book covers not only the religious and sacred aspects of art, but also the secular and profane ones. The book covers not only the mainstream and orthodox traditions of art, but also the heterodox and alternative ones. The book provides a balanced and nuanced perspective on the diversity and complexity of Indian art, taking into account various factors that influenced its formation and transformation. The book also provides a critical and comparative approach to Indian art, evaluating its strengths and weaknesses, achievements and failures, continuities and changes, similarities and differences. The book also provides a contextual and interpretive approach to Indian art, relating it to its social and cultural environment, as well as to its global connections and interactions. All these aspects make the book very complex and technical, requiring a high level of background knowledge and interest from the reader. The reader needs to have a good grasp of the history, geography, culture, religion, philosophy, aesthetics, and language of ancient India, as well as of the methods and theories of art history. The reader also needs to have a keen interest and curiosity in exploring the various facets and dimensions of Indian art.


Conclusion




In conclusion, The Art of Ancient India: Buddhist, Hindu, Jain by Susan L. Huntington is a comprehensive review of the artistic traditions of ancient India, from the prehistoric times to the 16th century CE. It is a scholarly and authoritative work that offers a comprehensive and detailed content and analysis of ancient Indian art. It is also an accessible and engaging work that uses illustrations and images to enhance its presentation. However, it is also an expensive and rare work that is difficult to access and afford for many readers. It is also a dated and biased work that reflects the state of knowledge and the perspective of the author at the time of its publication. It is also a complex and technical work that requires a high level of background knowledge and interest from the reader. Therefore, the book is recommended for readers who are serious and passionate about learning more about ancient Indian art, but not for readers who are looking for a casual or introductory overview.


Summary of the main points