Manohar Books Highlight
Portraying the Guru: Art, Devotion and Identity in Sikhism

Portraying the Guru: Art, Devotion and Identity in Sikhism

by Atsushi Ikeda

ISBN - 9788119139941

Cover - HardBound
Publication Year - 2024
Pages - 280 p.

Price - INR 2995.00

The study breaks a fresh ground in the study of Sikh art after the pione­ering contributions of W.H. McLeod and B.N. Goswamy in the similar field. The book on Sikh art evolution is centred on portraits of Sikh Gurus from the eighteenth to the twentieth century. It examines around two hundred and fifty texts of art, available in different mediums, scattered across museums and private collections in different countries. It goes to the credit of the scholar for pointing out how Guru Nanak’s portraiture catered to the spiritual and cultural needs not only of ordinary Sikhs but also satisfied the expectations of the newly formed urban middle class. The scholar critically reviews Harjot Oberoi’s study and emphasizes the significant role of Sikh art in the formation of a distinct Sikh community’s identity. The author took note of how the Singh Sabha Move­ment (1873-1909) and the Akali Movement of 1920 onwards, popularized devotional portraits of Guru Nanak even though idolatry is forbidden in the sacred text Guru Granth Sahib. It underlines how there was a paradigm shift in the mentality of Sikh society under the colonial impact of the British Raj. This book will not only be appreciated by students of visual arts, researchers, and academicians, and but also by the universities across the world where Sikh Studies are taught. About the Author Atsushi Ikeda, a historian of South Asian art, especially Sikh art and visual culture, holds an MFA from Kyoto City University of Arts and an M.Res. from Kyoto University. His 2018 doctoral thesis at SOAS University of London reflects his dedication. After having worked as an art director in a Japanese company, he currently serves as the Chief Director of the Japanese Organisation for the Promotion of Indian Art and Culture (JOPIAC).
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