Narrative Paintings across South Asia

MAP · April 14, 2022

From frescoes on the walls of ancient caves or temples to miniatures on manuscripts and painted scrolls, narrative paintings can tell us a range of stories. These span devotional, literary, and allegorical themes, and give us insight into varied styles and visual idioms prominent across the Indian subcontinent while shedding light on the use of vivid pigments and materials. Through a series of engaging videos and texts, our thematic lessons introduce courtly, religious as well as community-based forms of painting that portray mythological figures, epics, folktales and written or oral histories, paying close attention to their production, patronage, display and functions. 

Through this Short Course, you will:

  1. Learn to identify prominent imagery and historical schools of painting across South Asia.
  2. Develop the skills of close-looking to decode implicit meanings embedded within artworks through an understanding of symbolism, iconography, embellishment and style.
  3. Recognise the relationship between text and images, particularly in the context of manuscript paintings.
  4. Understand how the preoccupations of artists and patrons, can influence the portrayals of subjects and compositions. 
  5. Appreciate how paintings can serve as sources of history, vividly and imaginatively illustrating the past.

Who is the course for?

Enrolment is open to all, irrespective of your educational or professional background.

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6 Courses