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History of Art 136A: Ancient India, Fall, 1998 Syllabus

Joanna Williams: office 411A Doe Library, Mon. 12-1 (& by appt.)
Catherine Becker: office 411A Doe Library, Weds. 12-1 (& by appt.)
Sections: 1) W 2-3; 2) W 3-4; 3) Th 12-1

Texts: xerox reader, Copy Central on Bancroft, $22.38

Susan Huntington, The Art of Ancient India ($84.25; 4 copies in Moffitt)

Midterm--Sept. 29 (20% total grade)

First essay, c. 4 p. assigned Sept, 29, due Oct. 13 (20% total grade)
Term paper--due Dec. 2-3 in section, ca. 10 pages, instructions at end of syllabus (35% total)
Final exam-Dec. 10, 12:30-3:30,will include a prepared essay written without notes(25% total grade)
Readings--All should be on reserve in Moffitt unless otherwise noted.
* means required.

1. Aug. 25: Introduction

Sections: What to Expect?

2. Aug. 27: Indus Valley Culture

* Huntington, Chs. 1, 2.
J.M. Kenoyer, Indus Valley Civilization
Doris Srinivasan,"The So-called Proto-Siva from Mohenjo-Daro: An Iconological Assessment"
Archives of Asian Art(xerox copy on reserve under Srinivasan)
M. Wheeler, Civilization of the Indus Valley & Beyond, Ch.2.
George Dales, "The Decline of the Harappans," Scientific American (xerox on reserve under

3. Sept. 1: Vedic Period, Indian Religions

* Romila Thapar, "Which of Us Are Aryans?" (xerox reader, pp. 5-9)
* Huntington, Art of Ancient India, Ch. 3.
* Richard Davis," A Brief History of Religions in India" (xerox reader, p.10-22)
* Arthur Basham, The Wonder That Was India, "Buddhism, Jainism" (xerox reader pp. 23-40)
E. Conze, Buddhism, Its Essence & Development
M. Wheeler, Civilization of the Indus Valley & Beyond, Ch.3,4

Sections: Art History and Archaeology as alternative lenses

4. Sept. 3: The Mauryas, Imperial Art

*Huntington, 41-51.
*Ashoka--Inscriptions (handout)
N.R. Ray, Maurya & Sunga Art, Chs. 1-7.
J.Irwin, "Asokan Pillars: a Reassessment of the Evidence," 4 parts Burlington Magazine ,(xerox
on reserve under Irwin)
J. Huntington, "The Lomas Rsi: Another Look,"Archives of Asian Art (xerox on reserve under
John Huntington.
5.Sept. 8: Popular Images, Yakshas & Yakshis
*Huntington, 51-61.
A. Coomaraswamy, Yaksas.
N.R.Ray, Maurya & Sunga Art, Chs. 8-10.
R.N. Mishra, Yaksha Cult & Iconography.
G. Sutherland, Yaka in Hinduism & Buddhism, Disguises of the Demon

Sections: Socio-economic context of art; does it matter?

6-7, Sept . 10, 15: Buddhist Monastic Caves

*Huntington, pp. 74-85, 100-104, 163-174.
*Vidya Dehejia, "Social, Economic and Craft Organization," (xer. rdr. pp. 41-49 ; for more see
full book Early Bst. Rock Temples on reserve).
P. Brown, Indian Architecture, vol. 1, Chs. V-VI.

Sections: "reading" architecture

8. Sept. 17: The Stupa at Bharhut

*Huntington, pp. 61-74.
*Mahakapi Jataka (handout).
A. Cunningham, The Stupa of Bharhut.
M. Cummings, The Lives of the Buddha in the Art and Literature of Asia.

9, Sept. 22: Sanchi, Stupa I

*Huntington, 90-100
P. Brown, Indian Architecture, vol. 1, Ch. IV.
A. Dallapiccola, ed., The Stupa--Its Religious, Historical and Architectural Significance.
V. Dehejia, Unseen Presence: the Buddha & Sanchi.
J. Marshall, Monuments of Sanchi, 3 vols. (Art History/Classics Seminar, Doe Library).

Sections: narrative relief sculpture; prepare to compare 2 versions of Mahakapi Jataka

10, Sept. 24: The Aniconic Controversy

*A. Coomaraswamy, Origin of the Buddha Image (xerox rdr. pp. 83-120)
*V. Dehejia, "Aniconism and the Multivalence of Emblems" (xerox rdr, pp.50-71)
*K.R. van Kooij,"Remarks on festivals and altars in early Buddhist Art"
(xerox reader, pp. 72-8)
S. Huntington, "Early Buddhist Art and the Theory of Aniconism," (College Art Journal 49,no.
4; xerox on reserve)

11. Sept. 29: Midterm: slide comparisons. unknowns

essay assigned, due Oct. 13 in class

Sections: back to the origin of the Buddha image (discuss Coomaraswamy)

12-13, Oct. 1, 6: Kushan Mathura

*Huntington, pp. 150-162.
J. Rosenfield, Dynastic Arts of the Kushans .
12-13. contin. S.J. Czuma, Kushan Sculpture: Images from Early India.
S.P. Gupta, Kushana Sculptures from Sanghol.

Sections: contribution of the Kushans themselves?

14-15, Oct. 8, 13: Art of Gandhara

*Huntington, pp. 109-149
M. Wheeler, Flames over Persepolis.
L. Lyons & H. Ingholt, Gandharan Art in Pakistan.
J. Marshall, Guide to Taxila.
A. H. Dani, Taxila.
L. Nehru, Origins of the Gandharan Style.
J.E. van Lohuizen-de Leeuw, "New Evidence with Regard to the Origin of the Buddha Image,"
(South Asian Archaeology, xerox on reserve).

Sections: the nature and extent of Western influence?

16-17, Oct. 15, 20: Art of Andhra

*Huntington, 85-88, 174-83.
R. Knox, Amaravati, Buddhist Sculpture from the Great Stupa.
R. Rao, Art of Nagarjunakonda.

Sections: Indian conceptions of the body

18 Oct. 22.: The Begram Treasure

L. Davidson,"Begram Ivories and Indian Stones," Marg 1971
E. Rosen "The Begram Ivories," Marsyas (xerox on reserve)

19-22. Oct. 27, 29, Nov. 3, 5: Gupta Art

*Huntington, Chs. 10, 11.
*B.S. Miller, "Kalidasa's World & His Plays," (xerox reader pp. 121-139)
*A. Basham, "The Mandasor Inscription of the Silk-Weavers,"(xer. rdr. 140-46)
H. Zimmer, Myths & Symbols in Indian Art & Civilization.
J. Harle, Gupta Sculpture.
J. Williams, The Art of Gupta India.

Sections Oct.28-9: Art and empire

Nov. 4-5: Hindu and Buddhist Art

23-24, Nov, 10, 12: Ajanta

*Huntington, pp. 239-262.
*W. Spink, "The Splendours of Indra's Crown," (xerox reader 140-170)
*"Ajanta Cave XXVI Inscription," (handout).
W.Spink, Ajanta to Ellora.
A. Ghosh, Ajanta Murals.
D. Schlingloff, Studies in Ajanta Paintings.
M. Singh, Ajanta.
G. Yazdani, Ajanta,4 vols. (Art History-Classics Seminar, Doe)
Sections: Looking at painting

25-26, Nov. 17, 19: Art of Sri Lanka

*B. Rowland, Ceylon,"(xerox reader 171-78).
*J. Williams, "Construction of Gender in the Paintings & Graffiti of Sigiriya" (xerox reader 179-
S. Bandaranayake, Rock and Wall Paintings of Ceylon.

Sections: How contemporaries looked at images

27, Nov. 24: Early Indian Sculptors and Their World

*St. Kramrisch, "Artist, Patron, & Public in India," (xerox rdr. 184 ff).

Thanksgiving (no sections Weds.Nov. 25)

28. Dec.1: Conclusion

Sections: review, term paper due

Some guidelines for the paper (c. 10 pages)

The topic is yours to invent, tailored to your particular interests. Confirm your topic with Catherine or Joanna
by Oct. 29 so that there is time forus to talk with you about an outline.
One major point of art history writing is to look afresh at images and think about them. This may take
the form either of focusing on the images themselves or of considering them in relation to a larger context of
ideas, religion, history, etc. It is fine to explore such circumstances, but do not lose sight of particular carvings,
paintings, or buildings. We particularly value originality of thought or observation.
In writing , clarity is important. Set out what you are trying to do, construct a convincing argument, and
end with a conclusion. Grammatical writing is usually most effective; see a handbook like Wm. Strunk and E.B.
White, Elements of Style. Identify the source of information and ideas that go beyond the basics in assigned
reading or class lectures.(I.e. use footnotes if they are necessary, assuming that the reader is intelligent and is as
informed as a student who has taken this class.) Identify the images you refer to precisely, and include a xerox of
the important ones (citing the source of the plate). On the whole, form and content are inseparable, so a sloppy
paper tells the reader that you do not care.
Some topics that have worked for past students:
A work in the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco (especially strong for Gandhara)
Comparison of various examples of one event in the life of the Buddha (see M. Cummings)
Story-telling conventions and time sense in one group of narrative carvings
A chaitya hall or temple not discussed in class
Images of serpents and their religious role