Manuscripts

Amorous Delight: The Amarushataka Palm-Leaf Manuscript. Illustrated by the Master of Sharanakula in the 19th Century (Orissa, India)

256 pages, hardback, 31 x 23 cm, 300 illustrations
PRICE: £35.00
ISBN: 978 3 907077 21 4

 

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By Eberhard Fischer and Dinanath Pathy

Around 1800, an anonymous engraver in Sharanakula, a small temple place on the southern coast of Orissa, illustrated a palm-leaf anthology of love poems. The one hundred Sanskrit quatrains, which are said to be the work of the 7th-century poet Amaru, describe the behaviour of enamoured couples, their longing for each other, the lovers’ anxieties, their ecstatic joy as well as their doubts and sorrows. In India, these quatrains have at all times been cherished for their elegant language. Then, two hundred years ago, a great master-engraver visualised these verses in many small but meticulously executed and richly detailed illustrations. The erotic scenes in particular are of remarkable quality.

This publication was praised as one of the hundred most beautiful books of Switzerland in 2006 and won an award.

Eberhard Fischer, former director of the Rietberg Museum, published, together with eminent Indian scholars or artists like Dinanath Pathy, several books on Indian art.


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