ARTH 3778: Traditions of South Asian Painting: Past to Present

3 Credits

This course surveys the rich diversity of painted media in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Nepal, from 5th-century murals to contemporary canvases that travel the world. We will locate the works in their physical, ritual, and intellectual contexts. We will explore how the familiar categories with which we describe painting, such as Landscape, Portraiture, Narrative, and even Modern, might be productively reassessed in light of South Asian aesthetic traditions by locating the works in their physical, ritual, and intellectual contexts. The course culminates in the contested spaces of contemporary art, where questions of politics, identity, and intention come to the fore. Although mainly focusing on the painting traditions of India, the course will include painting from Pakistan, the Himalayas, Sri Lanka, and the South Asian diaspora. The humanities sharpen our ability to develop critical questions and to judge why and how one answer or interpretation may be stronger than another. Humanistic thinking is developed in dialogue; it emerges between individuals in conversation with each other and with their objects of study. This course asks you to boldly bring your curiosity, convictions, and blind-spots to our collective conversation, close reading, and individual writing. The course consists of two weekly meetings, and one or two trips to nearby museums or galleries.

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All Instructors

A- Average (3.708)Most Common: S (36%)

This total also includes data from semesters with unknown instructors.

14 students
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  • 4.80


  • 4.80


  • 4.70



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