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  • Thumbnail for Seated Jain statue as displayed
    Seated Jain statue as displayed

    Marble with details painted in black, gold and blue. 19 x 15 inches. This figure, of fine quality, represents a type seen often in Jain art and frequently found in western collections. This image depicts a Jina (victor) that is religious ideal of Jain religion: this is one who is victorious over death, who has achieved spiritual knowledge--similar to the Buddha. They are also known as Tirthankara (Ford Crosser)--that is, one who has crossed to the other side (that is, beyond death). Jains recognize 24 Tirthankaras; the twenty-fourth lived at about the same time as the Buddha and thus was part of same intellectual-spiritual milieu that gave rise to Buddhism. Just as Jains accept many of same principles as Buddhists, the earliest images of Jinas arose in the same time and place as the earliest Budda images. Jinas resemble Buddhas to a great degree: shown in meditation and in yogic posture; Jinas, however, are depicted nude (unlike Buddhas)--'sky clad' being indicative of practice of extreme asceticism. Standing Jinas are always depicted stiffly upright, with unbending posture; in the Jina this distinctive posture communicates the unwavering intent and practice of his austerities, of his spiritual focus.

  • Thumbnail for Santali tribal figure of Kali, for Shiva base - view from above
    Santali tribal figure of Kali, for Shiva base - view from above

    Cast bronze with gilding;20 x 7 inches. Santali refers to tribal groups; sometimes it is used to mean tribes of a certain region, but it is also used generically to reference tribals, that is, indigenous Indian peoples who were never fully assimilated into Hindu India. In this sense, images such as these are relevant to discussions of the caste or varna system of South Asia and the official government policy of reservation for Untouchables, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes that formed a part of the Constitution of the Republic of India. This is comparable to what in the US would be called Affirmative Action, but with much more specific initiatives. The notion that there are indigenous peoples of India who are regarded as having inhabited the subcontinent prior to the appearance of the Aryan tribes who brought their Sanskritic traditions can provide provocative possibilities for discussion in a range of disciplines (Religious Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, History, Art History). These are relatively large (Ganesha is over 3 ft. in height; Siva-Kali about 2 feet) and quite handsome pieces which follow more or less standard Hindu iconographic schemes (the Hindu deities Siva, Kali, Ganesha) but in style depart from the styles of sculpture practiced in Hindu states and courts. Thus they lend themselves to discussions of standard Hindu iconography as well as to the nature of tribal traditions in South Asia; they could also generate interesting discussions of 'classical' versus 'tribal' in Asian art: what makes a work 'folk' art (that is, its origin, its makers or patrons, its formal qualities?). And how have these traditions come to intersect and interact in the last century? While these are designated as 19th century they may in fact be more recent in manufacture.

  • Thumbnail for Copy of Persian Miniature
    Copy of Persian Miniature

    8 x 14 inches, depicting a hunting scene. These are extremely well executed copies of 15th- and 16th-century Persian miniatures (Timurid and Safavid). This image lends itself to pedagogical purposes in several ways. First, they raise the issue of copies and how we approach and consider these; certainly they will not be the only works in the project that are relevant to such questions, but they are quite fine works. Second, and perhaps far more significant, is that they represent folios from manuscripts that were created at the Muslim courts of 16th-century Persia (Tabriz and Shiraz) and thus exemplify the subjects that typify Muslim manuscripts of the era. Opportunities to engage issues relevant to the Islamic world (considering that the vast majority of the world's Muslims live in Asia, not the Middle East) will be of great value to students. For example, these paintings lend themselves to discussions of the nature of iconoclasm in Islamic art, to what kinds of subjects might and which might not be depicted in painting, as well as to the diverse attitudes within various schools of Islam regarding the acceptability of painting. They include depictions of historical themes and themes from poetry. Thus they could also generate interesting research projects for students: they lend themselves to research on the styles of Persian painting they represent; to identification of the particular themes depicted; and of course students could likely identify the particular paintings they copy. Finally, because these styles of Persian painting formed an essential element in shaping the Mughal painting school that arose in 16th-century India (the two artists that headed the emperor Akbar's painting workshop came to India from the Safavid court at Tabriz), they represent a direct link to Mughal painting in India.

  • Thumbnail for Copy of Persian Miniature
    Copy of Persian Miniature

    8 x 14 inches, depicting a hunting scene. These are extremely well executed copies of 15th- and 16th-century Persian miniatures (Timurid and Safavid). This image lends itself to pedagogical purposes in several ways. First, they raise the issue of copies and how we approach and consider these; certainly they will not be the only works in the project that are relevant to such questions, but they are quite fine works. Second, and perhaps far more significant, is that they represent folios from manuscripts that were created at the Muslim courts of 16th-century Persia (Tabriz and Shiraz) and thus exemplify the subjects that typify Muslim manuscripts of the era. Opportunities to engage issues relevant to the Islamic world (considering that the vast majority of the world's Muslims live in Asia, not the Middle East) will be of great value to students. For example, these paintings lend themselves to discussions of the nature of iconoclasm in Islamic art, to what kinds of subjects might and which might not be depicted in painting, as well as to the diverse attitudes within various schools of Islam regarding the acceptability of painting. They include depictions of historical themes and themes from poetry. Thus they could also generate interesting research projects for students: they lend themselves to research on the styles of Persian painting they represent; to identification of the particular themes depicted; and of course students could likely identify the particular paintings they copy. Finally, because these styles of Persian painting formed an essential element in shaping the Mughal painting school that arose in 16th-century India (the two artists that headed the emperor Akbar's painting workshop came to India from the Safavid court at Tabriz), they represent a direct link to Mughal painting in India.

  • Thumbnail for Copy of Persian Miniature
    Copy of Persian Miniature

    8 x 14 inches; subject matter here a palace scene. These are extremely well executed copies of 15th- and 16th-century Persian miniatures (Timurid and Safavid). This image lends itself to pedagogical purposes in several ways. First, they raise the issue of copies and how we approach and consider these; certainly they will not be the only works in the project that are relevant to such questions, but they are quite fine works. Second, and perhaps far more significant, is that they represent folios from manuscripts that were created at the Muslim courts of 16th-century Persia (Tabriz and Shiraz) and thus exemplify the subjects that typify Muslim manuscripts of the era. Opportunities to engage issues relevant to the Islamic world (considering that the vast majority of the world's Muslims live in Asia, not the Middle East) will be of great value to students. For example, these paintings lend themselves to discussions of the nature of iconoclasm in Islamic art, to what kinds of subjects might and which might not be depicted in painting, as well as to the diverse attitudes within various schools of Islam regarding the acceptability of painting. They include depictions of historical themes and themes from poetry. Thus they could also generate interesting research projects for students: they lend themselves to research on the styles of Persian painting they represent; to identification of the particular themes depicted; and of course students could likely identify the particular paintings they copy. Finally, because these styles of Persian painting formed an essential element in shaping the Mughal painting school that arose in 16th-century India (the two artists that headed the emperor Akbar's painting workshop came to India from the Safavid court at Tabriz), they represent a direct link to Mughal painting in India.

  • Thumbnail for Santali tribal figure of Kali, for Shiva base - side view
    Santali tribal figure of Kali, for Shiva base - side view

    Cast bronze with gilding, 20 x 7 inches. Santali refers to tribal groups; sometimes it is used to mean tribes of a certain region, but it is also used generically to reference tribals, that is, indigenous Indian peoples who were never fully assimilated into Hindu India. In this sense, images such as these are relevant to discussions of the caste or varna system of South Asia and the official government policy of reservation for Untouchables, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes that formed a part of the Constitution of the Republic of India. This is comparable to what in the US would be called Affirmative Action, but with much more specific initiatives. The notion that there are indigenous peoples of India who are regarded as having inhabited the subcontinent prior to the appearance of the Aryan tribes who brought their Sanskritic traditions can provide provocative possibilities for discussion in a range of disciplines (Religious Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, History, Art History). These are relatively large (Ganesha is over 3 ft. in height; Siva-Kali about 2 feet) and quite handsome pieces which follow more or less standard Hindu iconographic schemes (the Hindu deities Siva, Kali, Ganesha) but in style depart from the styles of sculpture practiced in Hindu states and courts. Thus they lend themselves to discussions of standard Hindu iconography as well as to the nature of tribal traditions in South Asia; they could also generate interesting discussions of 'classical' versus 'tribal' in Asian art: what makes a work 'folk' art (that is, its origin, its makers or patrons, its formal qualities?). And how have these traditions come to intersect and interact in the last century? While these are designated as 19th century they may in fact be more recent in manufacture.

  • Thumbnail for Santali tribal figure of Kali, for Shiva base - full view
    Santali tribal figure of Kali, for Shiva base - full view

    Cast bronze with gilding, 20 x 7 inches. Santali refers to tribal groups; sometimes it is used to mean tribes of a certain region, but it is also used generically to reference tribals, that is, indigenous Indian peoples who were never fully assimilated into Hindu India. In this sense, images such as these are relevant to discussions of the caste or varna system of South Asia and the official government policy of reservation for Untouchables, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes that formed a part of the Constitution of the Republic of India. This is comparable to what in the US would be called Affirmative Action, but with much more specific initiatives. The notion that there are indigenous peoples of India who are regarded as having inhabited the subcontinent prior to the appearance of the Aryan tribes who brought their Sanskritic traditions can provide provocative possibilities for discussion in a range of disciplines (Religious Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, History, Art History). These are relatively large (Ganesha is over 3 ft. in height; Siva-Kali about 2 feet) and quite handsome pieces which follow more or less standard Hindu iconographic schemes (the Hindu deities Siva, Kali, Ganesha) but in style depart from the styles of sculpture practiced in Hindu states and courts. Thus they lend themselves to discussions of standard Hindu iconography as well as to the nature of tribal traditions in South Asia; they could also generate interesting discussions of 'classical' versus 'tribal' in Asian art: what makes a work 'folk' art (that is, its origin, its makers or patrons, its formal qualities?). And how have tribal and classical traditions come to intersect and interact in the last century?

  • Thumbnail for Santali tribal figure of Kali, for Shiva base
    Santali tribal figure of Kali, for Shiva base

    Cast bronze with gilding, 20 x 7 inches. Santali refers to tribal groups; sometimes it is used to mean tribes of a certain region, but it is also used generically to reference tribals, that is, indigenous Indian peoples who were never fully assimilated into Hindu India. In this sense, images such as these are relevant to discussions of the caste or varna system of South Asia and the official government policy of reservation for Untouchables, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes that formed a part of the Constitution of the Republic of India. This is comparable to what in the US would be called Affirmative Action, but with much more specific initiatives. The notion that there are indigenous peoples of India who are regarded as having inhabited the subcontinent prior to the appearance of the Aryan tribes who brought their Sanskritic traditions can provide provocative possibilities for discussion in a range of disciplines (Religious Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, History, Art History). These are relatively large (Ganesha is over 3 ft. in height; Siva-Kali about 2 feet) and quite handsome pieces which follow more or less standard Hindu iconographic schemes (the Hindu deities Siva, Kali, Ganesha) but in style depart from the styles of sculpture practiced in Hindu states and courts. Thus they lend themselves to discussions of standard Hindu iconography as well as to the nature of tribal traditions in South Asia; they could also generate interesting discussions of 'classical' versus 'tribal' in Asian art: what makes a work' folk' art (that is, its origin, its makers or patrons, its formal qualities?). And how have tribal and classical traditions come to intersect and interact in the last century? While these are designated as 19th century they may in fact be more recent in manufacture.

  • Thumbnail for (Two Untitled Paintings) from the Spirit of Harmony
    (Two Untitled Paintings) from the Spirit of Harmony by Wang Ming, b. 1922

    Acrylic on paper. 69 x 21 4/8 inches (each). The suite of works currently in the library is particularly lyrical in its treatment of color and form. For the most part, there is little to signify that these are Chinese paintings, which is part of what makes the inclusion of these in the project so useful. That is, in the transnational (art) world of the early 20th-century, what makes a work or an artist 'Chinese'? On the other hand, the pair of scolls (untitled in the checklist, but one of these is his Work with Joy, of 1974, which has been exhibited and published) plays off many traditions of Chinese painting, including the lengthy (narrative) handscroll painted on paper and mounted on cloth, even though it is executed in a style growing out of Abstract Expressionism. The mounting of the two scrolls conforms to tradition. Traditionally, such scrolls were kept rolled up, and to be viewed would be 'read' sequentially, unrolling a portion at a time as one viewed the entire work while holding; thus, viewing such a scroll was an intimite encounter with the work. The current display of the scrolls, where they hang, opened, in a tall vertical space, challenges those traditional notions of how such paintings would be viewed.

  • Thumbnail for Seated Jain statue - side view
    Seated Jain statue - side view

    Marble with details painted in black, gold and blue.19 x 15 inches. This figure, of fine quality, represents a type seen often in Jain art and frequently found in western collections. This image depicts a Jina (victor) that is religious ideal of Jain religion: this is one who is victorious over death, who has achieved spiritual knowledge--similar to the Buddha. They are also known as Tirthankara (Ford Crosser)--that is, one who has crossed to the other side (that is, beyond death). Jains recognize 24 Tirthankaras; the twenty-fourth lived at about the same time as the Buddha and thus was part of same intellectual-spiritual milieu that gave rise to Buddhism. Just as Jains accept many of same principles as Buddhists, the earliest images of Jinas arose in the same time and place as the earliest Budda images. Jinas resemble Buddhas to a great degree: shown in meditation and in yogic posture; Jinas, however, are depicted nude (unlike Buddhas)--'sky clad' being indicative of practice of extreme asceticism. Standing Jinas are always depicted stiffly upright, with unbending posture; in the Jina this distinctive posture communicates the unwavering intent and practice of his austerities, of his spiritual focus.

  • Thumbnail for Seated Jain statue
    Seated Jain statue

    Marble with details painted in black, gold and blue; 19 x 15 inches. This figure, of fine quality, represents a type seen often in Jain art and frequently found in western collections. It is valuable to include Jain images, as students will easily recognize that this image seems closely related to Buddha images--and indeed it represents a similar renunciant type. But there are several clues to its difference. This image depicts a Jina (victor) that is religious ideal of Jain religion: this is one who is victorious over death, who has achieved spiritual knowledge--similar to the Buddha. They are also known as Tirthankara (Ford Crosser)--that is, one who has crossed to the other side (that is, beyond death). Jains recognize 24 Tirthankaras; the twenty-fourth lived at about the same time as the Buddha and thus was part of same intellectual-spiritual milieu that gave rise to Buddhism. Just as Jains accept many of same principles as Buddhists, the earliest images of Jinas arose in the same time and place as the earliest Budda images. Jinas resemble Buddhas to a great degree: shown in meditation and in yogic posture; Jinas, however, are depicted nude (unlike Buddhas)--'sky clad' being indicative of practice of extreme asceticism. Standing Jinas are always depicted stiffly upright, with unbending posture; in the Jina this distinctive posture communicates the unwavering intent and practice of his austerities, of his spiritual focus.