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Much Maligned Monsters

A History of European Reactions to Indian Art

In this fascinating study, Partha Mitter traces the history of European reactions to Indian art, from the earliest encounters of explorers with the exotic. East to the more sophisticated but still incomplete appreciations of the early twentieth century. Mitter’s new Preface reflects upon the profound changes in Western interpretations of non-Western societies over the past fifteen years.

376 pages | 23 illustrations | 6 x 9 | © 1977, 1992

Art: Middle Eastern, African, and Asian Art

Religion: Comparative Studies and History of Religion

Table of Contents

List of Plates
Preface to the 1992 Edition
I. Indian Art in Travellers’ Tales
(i) Much Maligned Monsters
(ii) Wonders of Elephanta
(iii) Paganism Revealed
II. Eighteenth Century Antiquarians and Erotic Gods
III. Orientalists, Picturesque Travellers, and Archaeologists
(i) Anquetil-Duperron, Niebuhr, Le Gentil, and Sonnerat
(ii) The Sublime, the Picturesque, and Indian Architecture
(iii) India and the Rise of Scientific Archaeology
(iv) From Reynolds to Rám Ráz
IV. Historical and Philosophical Interpretations of Indian Art
(i) The Debate on the Origin of the Arts
(ii) Creuzer and Hegel
V. The Victorian Interlude
(i) Owen Jones and the New School of Industrial Design
(ii) John Ruskin and William Morris
VI. Towards the Twentieth Century: A Reassessment of Present Attitudes
Appendix 1. Outline of Early European Collections of Indian Art
Appendix 2. On Elephanta and Salsette from Castro’s Roteiro

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