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Author Adamjee, Qamar
Title Strategies for Visual Narration in the Illustrated "Chandayan" Manuscripts
book jacket
Descript 385 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 73-03, Section: A, page:
Adviser: Priscilla Soucek
Thesis (Ph.D.)--New York University, 2011
The Chandayan romance, composed by the poet Maulana Da'ud of Dalmau in 1379 and relating the adventures of princess Chanda and the hero Laurak, is known today in five fragmentary and dispersed illustrated versions and two incomplete unillustrated copies. This dissertation focuses on the illustrated Chandayan manuscripts, each stylistically distinct from the other and rendered in the diverse painting styles associated with sixteenth century north and central India. Each manuscript was originally painted with a full-page picture accompanying each verse, resulting in an unusual book format where each folio contained a painting. Today the manuscripts survive in varying lengths, and the most intact version includes 285 paintings
The art historical significance of the illustrated Chandayan manuscripts has long been recognized, although their role has been limited to a general descriptive and comparative function. None of the manuscripts have yet been adequately examined as independent works
This study analyzes the five Chandayan manuscripts both as a group---against the wider context of sixteenth-century artistic and literary production---and as individual works. It begins by exploring the many literary dimensions of this fascinating late fourteenth-century text by reconstructing its author's biography and studying not only its literary precedents, but also its contributions and textual interpretations. It then proceeds to critically examine each manuscript's distinctive features and to offer a comparative analysis of them. Understanding the visual strategies used to convey narrative was a key interest of this project and to this end a stylistic and conceptual study of paintings illustrating the same textual episode in different manuscripts was undertaken. A related exploration, of the artistic techniques employed to retain viewer-interest in an extensively-illustrated manuscript, was accomplished through a focus on the painting cycles in the Chandayan manuscript in the Rylands Library, Manchester
The text and image analysis resulting from these two methodological approaches revealed differing attitudes towards visual storytelling among the artists of the five Chandayan manuscripts. It also permitted a reconsideration of some dating and attribution issues and emphasized the limitations of such polarizations as indigenous/foreign, Hindu/Muslim, north/south, and royal/commercial that appear in the historiography and political rhetoric of South Asia
School code: 0146
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 73-03A
Subject Literature, Asian
Art History
South Asian Studies
Alt Author New York University. Institute of Fine Arts
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