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THE CITRASASTRA PALM LEAF MANUSCRIPT FROM ODISHA (INDIA) a spurious manual for painters from odisha formerly in the collection of alice boner (alice boner dialogues no. 1)
Author: Eberhard Fischer and Dinanath Pathy
ISBN: 9783907077610
Binding: Paper Back
Publishing Year: 2020
Publisher: Fundation for Museum Rietberg Zurich and Alice Boner Institute Varanasi
Number of Pages: 87
In Stock
4-8 business days
INR 1195.00
About Book
In the 1960s, the Puri-based and internationally known Pandit Sadasiva Rath Sarma presented Alice Boner with an illustrated palm-leaf manuscript entitled “Citrasastra” (painting treatise). It consists of nineteen folios, inscribed on both sides with Sanskrit slokas (verses) and Odia captions to a large number of incised drawings and diagrams. The pothi (manuscript) also contains a fourline colophon that speaks of a Rupakara (wood-sculptor’s caste) master from Puri as the author and also gives a date that leaves much room for interpretation. The light-brown folios have the look of antiques, of having been prepared decades, if not centuries, ago. No similar text exists in the Odia language and only a few comparable works are known, all famous and often quoted among art-historians. In 1999, my friend Dinanath Pathy showed me the manuscript; I photographed the folios and we decided to publish it. In the process of editing the fascinating opus, which provides us with most interesting terms in Sanskrit as well as in the specific Odia workshop lingo of “traditional” crafts-persons of Puri, we were again and again puzzled by obscure details. But only after we had properly transliterated and translated all the inscriptions, when we translated and discussed between us the colophon, we questioned more and more the authenticity of the manuscript. Slowly, the pure editing work changed to become a forensic affair. And we asked ourselves: If this manuscript was “spurious”, what are the consequences for the work of Alice Boner done in collaboration with Pandit Sadasiva Rath Sarma, who, we were now certain, had produced this palm-leaf manuscript? We, time and time again, felt obliged to give up the editing project. But in the summer of 2016, the last weeks that Dinanath Pathy and I enjoyed working together, we decided to finalize our essay for publication. Unfortunately, my friend passed away in August 2016 and I have to present now alone our findings
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