Painting the Town Jain: Re-imagining Sacred Space in Nineteenth-century India
The city of Banaras is best known as an ancient Hindu pilgrimage center, praised for its holy temples built along the Ganges River. This talk, however, will explore an extensive mural painting that complicates the popular notion of Banaras as a timeless, exclusively “Hindu” city. Housed in a nineteenth-century Jain temple built on the famed riverfront of Banaras, the painting articulates an alternative vision of the city’s mythical and physical landscape. Challenging the idea of temple building in nineteenth-century India as a derivative practice rooted in a pre-modern past, the temple and its visual program instead highlight the vibrant artistic exchange, the meeting between courtly and mercantile cultures, and the mobility of artisans, patrons, and objects moving through the complex social, political, and economic networks of the present.
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Lawrence Hall, L3