The Art of Traditional Painting in Assam: a Critical Study on the Manuscript Paintings of Bhagavata-Purana, VI-VII

Bikramjit Sarkar1, Dr. Rajesh Bhowmik2

1 Research Scholar, Department of Fine arts, Tripura University. Orcid id: 0000-0002-2752-8601. Email id:

2 Associate Professor, Department of Fine arts, Tripura University

Received September 12, 2017; Revised October 15, 2017; Accepted October 22, 2017; Published October 25, 2017.

 Volume 1, Number 2, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/cjad.12.v1n203


The art of manuscript painting Assam mostly developed during the medieval periods in response to the Bhakti-movement headed by the Vaisnava saint Srimanta Sankardeva (1449-1568). The establishments of Vaisnavite institutions so-called Satra in Assam were the major centres of practising manuscript paintings. The subject of the paintings is taken from the Hindu epic and Puranas.  Different stories and events related to Lord Krishna were illustrated using Natural ingredients. The practice of paintings followed traditionally during 16th to 19th century. Especially different parts of Bhagavata-Purana were illustrated with paintings for entertainment and the better understanding of the people. The skill and quality of artists and their aesthetic sense of vision were executed through the paintings. This present paper has been made to highlight the paintings of Bhagavata-Prana VI-VII, which were executed during 1785 A.D. The skill of artists in the arrangement of composition and the simple stylistic representation is the matter of appreciation and understanding. It is very important to study and document the paintings in today’s context of dying traditional knowledge of art practice so that the future generation can attain knowledge of the culture of painting in the development of society & religion and also be aware of the contribution of the antiquities of past art and culture of North-East India.

Keywords: Assam, Bhagavata-Purana-VI-VII, Culture, Manuscript Painting, Tradition, Vaisnavism.


Visual Translation of Guru Nanak’s Philosophy by Janamsakhi Illustrators

Gurdeep Kaur & Rohita Sharma

Department of Business and Fine Arts, Lovely Professional University, Phagwara, Punjab, India.  Email:

Received July 13, 2017; Revised September 25, 2017; Accepted September 28, 2017; Published October 12, 2017.

 Volume 1, Number 2, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/cjad.12.v1n202


From the second half of seventeenth century, the people of undivided Punjab started to appoint illustrators to draw the manuscripts of Guru Nanak’s life stories. The main purpose of illustrating the manuscripts was to understand and convey the Nanakian Bani and worship the Guru through the miniature visuals preserved at home. Janamsakhi texts and bani of Guru are also the rich source to understand northern Indian culture and society of fifteenth century. The paper attempts to link Guru Nanak’s life and bani with the miniature visuals to reread the illustrators’ interpretations merged with their own imagination and perceptions. The study concludes that the Janamsakhi illustrations are the amalgamation of various facts and fusions of cognitions and perspectives of different illustrators.

Key Words: Guru Nanak, Janamsakhi illustrations, illustrators, philosophy, Sikhism

Native Tradition and Changing Market Dynamics: The Future Sustainability of Hajo and Sarthebari Metal Crafts

Lakhimi Jogendranath Chutia1 & Mrinmoy K Sarma2

1Research Scholar, Tezpur University, Assam, email:

2Professor, Tezpur University, Assam, email:

 Volume 1, Number 2, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/cjad.12.v1n201


The article deliberates over the issue of sustainability of traditional crafts from the economic as well as tradition point of view. In the age of global competition when the world has become a small trading community, handicraft artisans constantly compete with machine made products and struggle for the sustenance of their age old traditional industries. The traditional brass and bell metal sector of Sarthebari and Hajo in Assam is going through a similar fate. Changing functional requirements and aesthetics orientation of modern customers are pressing artisans to modify certain traditional features of the crafts and innovate according to market demand. In addition to this, unrestricted flow of imported metal items also offers tough competition to the indigenous sector. Artisans complying with existing needs of customers, comparatively, do well in economic terms than those producing age-old products. As noticed, artisans also seem to continue the craft in future and encourage their kith and kin to undertake the occupation, since they find it a reliable income source. Meanwhile, change in archaic design and make of metal items raises the issue of sustainability of tradition. However, it is important to understand if harping on to tradition overlooking economic sustainability of producer of the craft can ensure the sustainable growth of the sector. The paper thus aims to highlight the present scenario of the industry and its future scope for sustainability by taking into consideration the artisans’ and market viewpoint. It extends suggestions based on the information gathered from the market and producer to ensure sustainability of the art and the artisan.

Keywords: Sustainability, traditional, economic, brass and bell metal crafts, artisans, Assam

Tracing Footprints of a Bygone Era: Kaleshwari complex, Lavana

Maulik Hajarnis & Bhagyajit Raval

Faculty of Architecture, Parul University, Waghodia, Vadodara, Gujarat, India. E Mail IDs:,

    Volume 1, Number 1, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/cjad.v1n1.v1n107


The paper begins with a background of the study wherein the heritage potentials of the Panchmahal region are discussed, wherein ‘Kaleshwari’ is mentioned as one of the archaeological sites in the region. The next portion of the paper unfolds the details of this State Protected group of monuments like the Architectural significance of the site, etymology, geographical location and other important details about the site like the then logic behind the selection of the site, flora and fauna, etc. Each monument out of the group of protected monuments at the site is then analysed from an architectural perspective. The paper concludes with a way forward wherein the further scope of research and restoration is written down.

Keywords: Kaleshwari, Panchmahal, Vaav, Chauri, Mandir

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Editorial, Vol. 1, No. 1, New Series

   Volume 1, Number 1, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/cjad.v1n1.v1n101

With this issue we have started a new series from Chitrolekha. We have not only changed the name from “Chitrolekha International Magazine on Art and Design” to “Chitrolekha Journal on Art and Design”, we have also brought about significant change in the scope of the publication. Recently the UGC has approved and included the Magazine in the UGC Journal List. We are thankful to all for the recognition. The archived contents of the previous series will remain on the site and we will continue with our new avatar with different ISSN and metadata.

The changes become necessary as we want to expand the scope of our journal and make it more scholarly in nature. The journal has been lauched as a scholarly platform for discussions on the evolution and intercategorial development of art and design. It explores arts both as a mode of signaling as well as being in an ontological sense. The mystery of the first arts of our ancestors intrigues us today, from a scientific as much as an aesthetic perspective. Similarly the future of arts leads us to think of things quite unknown to us. The scope of the journal therefore, is open-ended so as to be able to incorporate and address emerging areas in human arts and sciences.

We hope the new Editorial Team will make it a successful platform for publishing in the field of art and design.

Manifestation of Indian Miniature Style in the Paintings of Nicholas Roerich

Jyoti Saini & Ila Gupta

Department of Humanities and Social Science, Department of Architecture and Planning
Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee. Uttarakhand, India. Email ids:,

   Volume 1, Number 1, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/cjad.v1n1.v1n106


India is symbolized by the diversity of its art and culture from epochs. From a global perspective, acculturation could be a topic of present day study for visual artists and other cultural practitioners. Cultural assimilation has been a much debated issue in respect of Indian paintings. Nowadays or even in the past, artists have been coming to India to be enamored by its natural beauty, culture, religious beliefs and philosophy, ceremonies and many more practices. Among these artists, one key figure from the last centenary was the Russian maverick- Nicholas Roerich, who was very much influenced by Indian cultural ethos. Roerich has done exercise with Indian theme in western techniques and depicted the several sights of beauty of nature and the figures in Indian style. Roerich has contributed significantly to Indian modern paintings during art- revivalism. The significance of portrayal of Indian style has been defined on theoretical perception of renowned art critics. Further, Indian miniature stylistic forms have been pointed out through handmade drawings with the help of Photoshop software as a tool. Thus, this paper is an attempt to critically evaluate the influence of Indian culture especially Hindu culture on the works of Nicholas Roerich.

 Keywords: Nicholas Roerich, cultural assimilation, Indian art, Hindu religion

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Terracotta Temples of Bengal: A Culmination of Pre-existing Architectural Styles

Sudeshna Guha1 & Dr. Abir Bandyopadhyay2

1B. Arch Student, National Institute of Technology Raipur, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India. Email:

2Professor, Department of Architecture, National Institute of Technology Raipur, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India. Email:

Volume 1, Number 1, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/cjad.v1n1.v1n105


Three major developments in religious architecture were seen in three different eras of Bengal’s history – evolution of Nagara style temples which were influenced by the Orissan Rekha deuls, followed by the developments of Islamic Architecture through mosques and tombs, and lastly, the generation of Terracotta Temples. The Terracotta Temples of Bengal, famous for the use of Terracotta Plaques for surface decoration, had developed a unique style of architecture, quite distinct from the major styles of temple architecture that was prevailing in India. This paper intends to find out which architectural features of the Terracotta Temples got influenced and how they got influenced from the prevailing architectural styles.

 Keywords: Terracotta Temples, influence, architectural features, Islamic architecture, Pre-Islamic architecture.

Literary Places, Tourism and the Cultural Heritage Experience –the Case of Kumbakoanm

K. Selvakumar1 & Dr. S.Thangaraju2

1Assistant Professor, Army Institute of Hotel Management& Catering Technology,  Bangalore – 560077. Email:

2Associate Professor, Department of Indian Culture and Tourism, Government Arts College (Autonomous), Kumbakonam ,Tamilnadu.

 Volume 1, Number 1, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/cjad.v1n1.v1n104


Purpose –Literary locations may be defined in diverse methods, however principally they gather that means from links with writers and the settings of their novels. Such locations magnetize vacationers and form part of the landscape of heritage tourism. Numerous key standards regarding heritage are applicable to literary places, and empirical research sanction a extra preponderant information in their pertinence how applicable problems of authenticity and conservation are to this revel in on area . Recognising the articulated aims, we explore how a cultural festival, and more specifically contemporary art, may positively influence the residents and visitors. paper examines, whether the city educate visitors about Indigenous cultures of the Tamils. The paper argues Further, aspects of infrastructure and hygiene are also reviewed.

Methodology -The research study includes both the primary and secondary data sources. The major data and information pertaining to the research study have been accumulated from the primary sources. The main sources of primary data were used is content and descriptive analyses of archival documents, contemporary  literary works and inscriptions, in the Tamil language related to the social history of Tamils in classical period, personal visits to Kumbakonam and their observation.

Findings – The paper concludes by arguing that festivals’ engagement with tourism needs to be carefully managed in the interests of promoting the socially sustaining function of festivals and of encouraging sustainable approaches to tourism development.

Originality/value –The paper explores spirituality and tourism in the context of kumabkonam city where there is very little formal research in this area. The paper serves as a stepping stone towards future research on overlooked religious site and their management

Keywords:  Tourism, Culture, heritage ,Religion, Temple, Mahamagam

Damian Hirst’s Exhibition at Palazzo Grassi in Venice

Report by VEDITU: collettivo di ricerca sul contemporaneo (

 Volume 1, Number 1, 2017 I Full Text PDF

The scientists, from Galileo to Newton, interested in arts and history, always have had some collections where there was everything; from the Unicorn’s bone to the sphere for premonitions, the potions to feel good to the alchemical texts.

The exhibition of Damian Hirst, which opened Thursday at Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana, is in this framework, in the mass of a thousand things that any intellectual retained, in the times when it was thought that culture was universal, that each of us, individually, could collect all the knowledge the world was offering.

A huge amount, of uneven objects, that have little to do with each other.

Damien Hirst, the father of the young British artist, after years puts himself out there with this giant exhibition completely changing himself and his work. There are no provocations, animals, drugs, colored dots. In this sense, the bet is high, because it takes the scene abandoning what made him famous, refusing to repeat itself, if not for the wealth. It seems that like the Gagosian of 20 years ago, even the good Pinault has provided unlimited funds.

The story is simple: in 2008 it was discovered that the wreck of a ship sank off the east coast of Africa, belonged to Cif Amotan II, a freedman of Antioch who lived between I and II century AD. He freed himself from slavery and gathered an immense fortune among art works, jewelry, antiques, and spoils of war. This treasure was loaded onto his ship to be brought to a temple, but it never arrived at its destination. Then the recent discovery, the re-emergence of encrusted artifacts from the sea, sometimes very damaged. That this story is a complete fabrication is unimportant. The story holds in the exhibition beyond the inconsistencies.

So triune works: sculptures rebuilt as new, falsely sculptures subjected to spend time on the seabed, video or picture of their recovery. Here, size matters: from tiny gold sculptures to the 18 meters of the giant’s height that fills the courtyard of Palazzo Grassi (Demon with Bowl). Also the materials: gold, silver, bronze, black and white granite.

The challenge is to create, provide the public with a story, a fairy tale. Herein will lie the success or failure of this exhibition. Beyond the technical expertise, the cost of production of this enormity similar to a collection, the impression that is created is truly to enter in a strange archaeological museum. And this also serves the ornaments, such as the caskets with the collections of fake rare shells, which are a fall in the tension of the exhibition. They certainly will not be sold at a high price, but they offset, creating the image of the museum. Basically in any discovery there can be the wonderful, but also the tool, the consumer good, the shell.

The materials are conventional ones; the works have an aspect that can be ambiguously connected to experiences already lived. We are surprised for the size of the caskets, in a much elaborated fictional language that makes this surplus of fantastic syncretism, between myth and cartoon, surrealism and jewel, gods and monsters in a credible collection of the wonders of an invented world. So much so that a toy, a robot, put into glass case, all of gold, with its excellent caption, can certainly represent a deity and the incredible abilities in aging of works with rust, sponges, algae and shells, just as fake, which makes it plausible marine finds.

The fairy tales, the stories, at the dawn of humanity was needed to  recognize, ritualize and defeat the real and imaginary dangers, to reconnect with nature. Even with the advent of the novel, the narrative has maintained, according W.Benjamin, its function: “on the one hand the meaning of life, the other the moral of the story”. Damien offers this in the exhibition, a fairy tale and a game, that ridiscute a large part of contemporary art that instead brings to the concept, to the minimalism of the artistic gesture and of the space that contains it. Here is the provocation of the treasures from the wreck of the unbelievable, the real controversial point and the novelty. Certainly coming out of this experience, the public cannot say, “This I could do it myself.”  It may pleasure at the Market?

Images: Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS/SIAE 2017 & Photographed by Christoph Gerigk © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS/SIAE 2017

Call for Papers

The Chitrolekha Journal on Art and Design is a scholarly platform for discussions on the evolution and intercategorial development of art and design. The journal explores arts both as a mode of signaling as well as being in an ontological sense. The mystery of the first arts of our ancestors intrigues us today, from a scientific as much as an aesthetic perspective. Similarly the future of arts leads us to think of things quite unknown to us. The scope of the journal therefore, will be open-ended so as to be able to incorporate and address emerging areas in human arts and sciences. Research papers on any of the following broad areas can be submitted:

  • History and Prehistory of Art
  • Visual Studies
  • Performance Arts
  • Intersections
  • Art and Religion
  • Art and Technology
  • Design and Culture
  • Art, Ecology, Environment
  • Contemporary Art
  • Commercial design aesthetics
  • Textiles, Fashion, Perishable Arts
  • Handicrafts and Heritage Preservation & Management

Publication Schedule: We follow Continuous Publication model and we start publishing articles once the reviews are complete. In every quarter the articles will be clubbed together as an issue under a year (as Volume).

Submission Deadline: There is no deadline as we follow Continuous Publication model. Once the article is reviewed and passed, we will publish it.

Contact: Send your submission the Section Editors at ttm1974 [AT] and/or editor [AT]

Submission Guidelines: Please follow the Guidelines here>>