Article

Iconography

Chandreyi Basu

in Hinduism

ISBN: 9780195399318
Published online January 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195399318-0027
Iconography

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At a basic level, iconography involves description, identification, and classification of artworks as a means of studying their development over time and variations in their forms across regions. These studies rely on close visual analysis and the correlation of images with relevant written texts. Beyond this, the role of iconographical analysis is to understand what images mean and how they function as part of larger historical, sociopolitical, and intellectual contexts. Scholarship on Hindu images is characterized by both descriptive and interpretative levels of analysis. Following the main themes outlined in published works, this article charts the historical development of Hindu images in various media from the formative through the modern periods and highlights their meanings in different contexts: secular and religious; domestic and public; and local, regional, and global. Discussion of regionalism and sectarian identity are balanced with examinations of crossovers among sects, regions, and religions.

Article.  8790 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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