THE TRANSFORMATION OF NATURE IN ART
ANANDA K. COOMARASWAMY
Edited with an introduction
by KAPILA VATSYAYAN
1995, xxv+189 pp. notes,
gloss, bibl., ISBN: 81-207-1643-4: Rs 350 (HB)
In the Present work of Coomaraswamy
attempts to explain the theory behind medieval European and Asian art,
especially art in India. He further supplements the Indian theorywith
that of the Chinese. The first principle of his theories is that art
does not exist for its own sake; it exists as means to some religious
conditions or experience. The comparison with medieval European art in
this respect is extremely illuminating. He further shows that both
differ radically from the post-Renaissance European Art.
Coomaraswamy discusses the theory of art in Asia in the first chapter
and contends that the Indian artist did not seek an illusion of
Nature, rather he tried to create a truthful suggestion of the
character of the subject. He examines, in the second chapter, the
medieval European aesthetics in terms of the fourteenth century German
mystic, Meister Eckhart. Following chapters investigate through Indian
texts the psychology of the Indian view of art. And finally, the
origin and use of images in India are discussed in the last chapter.
Available at: IGNCA, New Delhi.