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All posts by Ananda Coomaraswamy

Indian Art and the Concept of Pramana

In this excerpt, Ananda Coomarasway explains the concept of Indian art in context of the theory of Pramana. He tells us how drama used to emphasize that he actors cannot get ‘fooled’ by the drama itself. And with this context, he brings in the theory of the different kinds of Pramana and how they are applicable in Indian art.

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Shall Art Imitate Nature? – The Concept of Sadrsya

In this piece, Ananda Coomaraswamy discusses what is the purpose of Art as commanded by Indian canons as well as other eastern cultures and civilizations as opposed to the purpose of art in the West. He also gives us the concept of Sadrsya in Indian Art, on what is considered to be the true nature of beings.

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The Art Within

In this article, Ananda Coomaraswamy explains how the inspiration of all art in India is spiritual and comes from within. It is not just an act of observation but an act of absorption of the divine form, which is revealed to the artist when he meditates upon the nature of the truth. All Art in India is thus ideally derived. It is taken from Coomaraswamy’s definitive work on Art, “The Transformation of Nature in Art”.

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The Origin and the Use of Image in India – Part 3

In this concluding part of this series, Coomaraswamy explains how the purpose of art in India was never just to imitate Nature, but also to transcend it and that is why Indian art is famously ‘not realistic’. This article is an excerpt from the book “The Transformation of Nature in Art” by Ananda K. Coomaraswamy.

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The Origin and the Use of Image in India – Part 2

In this excerpt from the book “Transformation of Nature in Art” by Ananda K. Coomaraswamy explains the logic behind image worship in Hindu Dharma. he explains the apparent paradox of Hindu Dharma where the Divine is imagined as without any form or attributes on one hand and on the other multiplicity of forms and attributes are also to be seen quite prevalent in the society. Coomaraswamy explains that in reality there is no paradox.

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The Origin and the Use of Image in India – Part 1

In this excerpt from the book “Transformation of Nature in Art” by Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, he explores the conception of Art in India. He analyzes icon worship in India and explains how the Hindus conceive divinity and how they worship it. He also analyzes the hypocritical attitudes of Christianity and Islam who blame Hindus of being superstitious.

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Centre For Indic studies
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