•Recent re-visionings of the categories of Indian Painting•Features the latest scholarship in the field, while acknowledging its debt to early expertsIn the 100 years since Ananda Coomaraswamy wrote his seminal two-volume, Rajput Painting, the field of Indian painting studies has gone through a period of explosive discovery. From the scholarly establishment of a framework of schools and periods, to the expansion of knowledge about individual artists and workshops, the movement has been documented in ever-increasing depth. This centenary offers a chance to rethink the very nature of the categories, methods, and indeed the passions that guided past scholars, whose dedication has brought Indian painting to the fore of art today. Accordingly, this book focuses on a paradigm shift in painting studies that has had significant impact on this revival of interest. Pursuing questions of meaning, the essays in this volume look beyond pictorial taxonomies and disciplinary boundaries towards the far-reaching cultural preoccupations of 16th- to early 20th-century India. In doing so, they can also be said to come full circle to the kinds of wide-ranging and ambitious explorations of meaning and motivation that excited Coomaraswamy. Without doubt, they honor Coomaraswamy's still palpable desire to awaken a global audience to the pleasures of Indian painting.
Molly Aitken is an Associate Professor in the Art Department at the City College of New York.