INDIA: Treasures of the Deccan (A four part lecture series on the region’s most spectacular monuments and arts)
Dates: 2, 9, 16 and 23 October, 2013.
Venue: Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell
As a long-term supporter of South Asian art and culture, the Bagri Foundation is pleased to announce this four part lecture series on the monuments and arts of the Deccan, one of India’s most mysterious and unknown regions.
A cultural melting pot, the Deccan lies on the great plateau of south-central India where for centuries seemingly disparate styles have blended. Deccani art revels in dream and fantasy.
These lectures by George Michell will span a period of 1000 years, and treat audiences to a fabulous visual tour of the region. They will appeal to academics, artists, architects, travellers and the culturally curious wishing to explore this vast nation in depth.
George Michell, renowned authority on Indian architecture and art, conducted much of his research over 20 years at sites in the Deccan.
Whilst the lectures are free and no booking is required, they are expected to be popular and people should arrive early to be assured seating.
Wednesday 2nd October 7.00-8.15 pm
TEMPLES OF THE EARLY CHALUKYAS: BADAMI, AIHOLE, PATTADAKAL
Between the 6th and 8th centuries CE the Deccan was dominated by the Early Chalukya kings, who sponsored sandstone Hindu and Jain temples, both rock-cut and structurally free-standing. These sacred monuments are covered with magnificent relief sculptures that give visual expression to a full range of Hindu icons, as well as depicting courtly attendants, amorous couples and episodes from diverse epic narratives.
Wednesday 9th October 7.00-8.15 pm
IMPERIAL MAGNIFICENCE: HAMPI VIJAYANAGARA
As capital of the largest and wealthiest Hindu kingdom of southern India during the 14th-16th centuries, Vijayanagara was built up as a showpiece of imperial magnificence. The ruins of Hampi, the name by which the site is best known today, are among the most spectacular and extensive in all India. The lecture will explore the layout of the city and its links with local Hindu myths, and then describe its surviving military, courtly and religious structures.
Wednesday 16th October 7.00-8.15 pm
SULTANATE SPLENDOUR: GULBARGA, BIDAR, BIJAPUR, GOLCONDA
The Bahmani rulers, contemporaries of the Vijayanagara emperors, and their sultanate successors, resided in great walled citadels in which they built grandly scaled, sumptuously decorated palaces, as well as imposing mosques and tombs. The lecture will describe the 14th-15th century monuments of the Bahmanis at Gulbarga and Bidar, followed by the 16th-17th century monuments of the Adil Shahis at Bijapur and the Qutb Shahis at Golconda and Hyderabad.
Wednesday 23rd October 7.00-8.15 pm
COURTLY ARTS: MINIATURE PAINTING, METALWORK, TEXTILES
No decorative arts survived the sack and abandonment of Hampi Vijayanagara in 1565, nor have any been preserved from Gulbarga or Bidar. This is in striking contrast to the abundance of art objects associated with the courts of Bijapur and Golconda. The sultans of these kingdoms vigorously patronised sumptuous miniature paintings, gleaming inlaid metal objects, and brilliantly coloured cotton textiles, all of which will be described in this lecture.
About George Michell
George Michell trained as an architect in Melbourne, and then studied Indian Archaeology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Much of his research has been conducted at sites in the Deccan, including surveys of the temples in and around Badami, and the ruins of the imperial city of Hampi Vijayanagara. Among his many books are “Architecture and Art of the Deccan Sultanates” (with Mark Zebrowski), and “Discovering the Deccan: A Panoramic Journey Through Historical Landscapes & Monuments” (with Helen Philon).
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