Abstract and Keywords
Hindu culture possesses unique ways of seeing and shaping religious art; this chapter explores the “keys” that are needed to interpret some of its characteristic art-forms. The visual arts, like music, provide a universal language that unites the immensely diverse regions of South Asia. Hindu art, in particular, reflects the belief in a polycentric and pervasive divinity that becomes visible in the plastic arts. Rooted in medieval traditions of aesthetic philosophy and ritual divinization, Hindu Art pervades the daily experience of the community, encountered in elaborate ornamental styles, spirits and gods crowding the temple-towers, ritually consecrated sacred architecture, statues and posters that are “alive” with the god’s presence, and evocative films that help the viewer to stay receptive to the effect of these intense art forms.
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