Text and Image in South Asian Painting

Text and Image in South Asian Painting

  • 02 Feb
    23 Feb

    South Asian Painting

    Neeraja Poddar

Text and Image in South Asian Painting

Image: The cowherd boys and calves who are Krishna in multiple forms return home | verso of a folio from a dispersed manuscript of the Tenth Book of the Bhāgavata Purāṇa | Mewar | first quarter of the seventeenth century | sheet: 23.3 x 39.5 cm | private collection.

A large proportion of painted works from across South Asia rely on texts for their subject matter. This seminar will focus on early modern illustrated manuscripts and series, the pages of which often contain diverse arrangements of image and related textual inscriptions. Art historians have read these inscriptions in order to identify the depicted subject. In this seminar, we will also ask: Why are there so many different types of inscriptions? Why are they in Sanskrit, vernacular, or a combination of the two? Was the artist referring to any of these or did he know the story from a different source? What is the relationship between text and image, do they actually correspond? What can the arrangement of text and image tell us about how the manuscript was handled, viewed, and used?

Day 1: Words and pictures, words in pictures.
Day 2: How does an artist translate text into image?
Day 3: How are stories transformed as they are transmitted?
Day 4: Text and image in different formats of painting.

Online Public Seminar Series | Platform: Cisco Webex

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Duration -

February 2, 9, 16, 23, 2021

Timing: 6:30 - 8:30 PM


Rs. 3,150

Neeraja Poddar

Neeraja Poddar

Dr. Neeraja Poddar is The Ira Brind and Stacey Spector Associate Curator of South Asian Art at Philadelphia Museum of Art, and a Research Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. She received her Ph.D. in Art History and Archaeology from Columbia University and was previously curator at The City Palace Museum, Udaipur. Neeraja has published on illustrated manuscripts and series of the Bhāgavata Purāṇa; her curatorial projects include Mewar Photographs, 1857-1947: A Glimpse into the Archive at The City Palace Museum, Udaipur, and the reinstallation of the South Asian galleries at Philadelphia Museum of Art. Neeraja’s research has been supported by fellowships from The Clark Art Institute, the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the C. V. Starr Foundation, and Columbia University.