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 THE TRUE SCHOLAR - Passages from A. K. Coomaraswamy on Art and Scholarship
selected and Introduced by Roger Lipsey

 2013, 47 pp. Not priced


 


 

Ananda K. Coomaraswamy(1877-1947) remains a unique and inspring scholar and author across the many fields of study he made his own. One of the foremost founders of Indian art history, he was the first to distinguish between Rajput and Moghul painting, and built a magnificent collection in the early decades of the twentieth century, now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where he was a curator and later research fellow from 1917 forward. In those years his catalogues, monographs, and studies of motifs and iconographies a set a standard of rigour and comprehensiveness. In later years, from the early 1930s, Coomaraswamy's interests widened to include scripture and religious thought, which became the basis for profound investigations of traditional religious art in India and the West. A new model of art historiography and cross-cultural text study emerged in his writings : austere, often intricate, endowed with authority yet lightened by clarity of insight. He once wrote about a theme in Indian myth: the "patriarch's voyage" across a sea slanting upwards. His was such a voyage.

 

 


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