Sikh Art and Literature - Book By Kerry Brown

Publisher: Routledge
Authors: Kerry Brown
Page: 216
Format: Paperback
Language: English
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Table of Contents of the Book 'Sikh Art & Literature' By Kerry Brown

  Contents  
  List of Illustrations vii
  List of Contributors xiii
  Art Foreword xv
  Literature Foreword xvii
  Acknowledgements xix
  Introduction 1
  NARINDER SINGH KAPANY and KERRY BROWN  
  Part I ART  
1 From Gurus to Kings  
  Early and court painting 29
  GURSHARAN SINGH SIDHU  
2 An Illustrated Life  
  Guru Nanak in narrative art 52
  ROBERT J. DEL BONTA  
3 The Sikh Treasury  
  The Sikh Kingdom and the British Raj 72
  SUSAN STRONGE  
4 Golden Temple, Marble Forum  
  Form and meaning in sacred architecture 89
  HENRY  J. WALKER  
  Part II LITERATURE  
5 The Unstruck Melody  
  Musical mysticism in the Scripture 117
  GOBIND SINGH MANSUKHANI  
6 The Western Gateway to Sikhism  
  The life and works of Max Arthur Macauliffe 129
  HARBANS LAL  
7 Poetry Urges Poetry  
  From the Guru Granth to Bhai Vir Singh 143
  NIKKY-GUNINDER KAUR SINGH  
8 Critical Ecstasy  
  The modern poetry of Puran Singh 155
  SURJIT SINGH DULAI  
9 Old Culture, New Knowledge  
  The writings of Bhai Mohan Singh Vaid 172
  ARDAMAN SINGH and NIRVIKAR SINGH  
10 A Mirror to Our Faces  
  The short stories of Khushwant Singh 181
  ABDUL JABBAR  
  Appendix I  
  The Ten Sikh Gurus 197
  Appendix II  
  Contributors to the Guru Granth Sahib 198
  Appendix III  
  Music and Structure of the Guru Granth Sahib 200
  Appendix IV  
  Collections of Sikh Art 202
  Glossary 204
  Further reading 206
  The Sikh Foundation 210
  Index 212

Sikh Art and Literature

Sikh Art and Literature traverses the 500-year history of a religion that dawned with the modern age in a land that was a thoroughfare of invading armies, ideas and religions and arts of East and West. The poetry of the scriptures, the illustrated life stories of Guru Nanak, the early painting from various artistic schools and regions, the dazzling treasuries of the Sikh kingdoms, the romantic artworks of visiting European dignitaries, and the serenity of Sikh sacred architecture all provide doorways to this heroic and revolutionary faith.

Essays by art curators, historians and collectors, and scholars of literature and religion are illustrated with some of the earliest and finest Sikh paintings. Sikh modernism and mysticism are explored in essays on the holy Guru Granth Sahib, the translations and writings of the British Raj convert M.A. Macauliffe, the fathers of modern Punjabi literature, Bhai Vir Singh and Puran Singh; and the twentieth-century fiction writers Bhai Mohan Singh Vaid and Khushwant Singh. Excerpts from journals of visitors to the court of the diminutive Ranjit Singh and new translations of early twentieth-century poetry add depth and originality to this beautiful and accessible introduction to the art, literature, beliefs and history of the Sikhs.

Sikh Art and Literature is a colorful, heartfelt and informative introduction to Sikh culture. Anyone interested in gaining a full understanding of Sikh faith and culture will be drawn to and enchanted by this book.

Contributors: Narinder Singh Kapany, Kerry Brown, Gursharan Singh Sidhu, Robert J. Del Bonta, Susan Stronge, Henry J. Walker, Gobind Singh Mansukhani, Harbans Lal, Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh, Surjit Singh Dulai, Ardaman Singh, Nirvikar Singh and Abdul Jabbar.

Kerry Brown is the director of programs for the Sikh Foundation. She has been a writer and editor in religious publishing for fourteen years.

The Sikh Foundation was founded in 1967 to promote the heritage and future of Sikh faith and culture. Its sponsorships and collaborations include academic chairs, courses and coferences, international art exhibitions, books, films and videos.

Art Foreword

It gives me great pleasure to congratulate the Sikh Foundation on the publication of this volume of essays on the art and literature of the Sikhs. This book is the culmination of the efforts of the Sikh Foundation and its chairman, Dr Narinder Singh Kapany, to recognize the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Sikh Foundation celebrated in 1922. That year, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the Sikh Foundation and the Center for South Asia Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, co-sponsored an exhibition entitled 'Splendors of the Punjab: Art of the Sikhs' which was on view at the museum from November 25 to December 27, together with a two-day conference on 'Sikh Art and Literature.'

The excellent essyas on art and architecture included here were delivered at that conference, and their publication is indeed worthy of much celebration. The authors are a distinguished group of specialists, collectors, art historians, museum curators and an architectural historians. Collectively they describe the heroes, the events, the treasures and the monuments that distinguish the arts created by or associated with the Sikhs. For the uninitiated , these essays will respond to the questions, 'What is Sikh art? How is it different from the rest of Indian art?'

'Splendors of the Punjab: Art of the Sikhs' consisted primarily of paintings and objects created at the Sikh capital of Lahore in the first half of the nineteenth century and borrowed from local northern Californian collections. It should be remembered as the first exhibition of Sikh art held in North America. Since 1992, the Sikh foundation has been instrumental in taking a number of educational initiatives, such as endowing positions in Sikh history and literature at Californian institutions, as well as initiating plans for a major international exhibition of Sikh art that will open before the beginning of the next millennium.

These efforts to preserve and to disseminate knowledge about the culture and religion of the Sikhs inspire our admiration and applause. We hope that Sikhs world-wide, as well as the general public, will come to appreciate the brilliance of the Sikh contribution, not only to the past but to the present. Many the culture described in the pages that follow promote the proud values of their traditional heritage and give rise to future leaders who can integrate the Sikh perspective into the multiculturalism of the modern world.

Emily J. Sano
Director, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco

Literature Foreword

By compiling the hymns of Sikh Gurus and other saints in an anthology of sacred writings, the fifth Sikh Guru, Arjan Dev, helped save for posterity a body of work unparalleled in its scope and emotional appeal, and unique in its symbolism and expressive beauty. Its social and spiritual content would be the beacon for countless writers and poets in the years ahead.

The Sikh holy book, the Granth Sahib, originally assembled by Guru Arjan Dev, includes compositions of seven of the ten Sikh Gurus as well as those of other saint-scholars. Its ideas, form and substance have inspired many writers. The pace was set by the first Sikh Guru, Nanak, with his amazing ability to demolish, in verses of rare sensitivity, the complex arguments advanced by religious bigots. Through verse, he highlighted the mockery they were making of the ideals spelt out by their savants.

His successors also did the Sikhs proud, Guru Arjan Dev's role being especially significant. The syntax, style and rhythm of the verses he selected for the Guru Granth received his meticulous attention. The lyrical rendering of the philosophical, devotional and ethical themes are also due to his imagination and perseverance. He did not stop at setting exacting standards of literary excellence, but had the works set to music in thirty-one classical ragas.

The philosophical and creative prowess of these works had a profound impact on the literary efforts of many, which helps explain the elevated and inspired mood in the work of outstanding authors like Bhai Vir Singh, Kahan Singh Nabha, Mohan Singh Vaid and others. Their writings reflect optimism, resolution, faith and humanity towards fellow humans as they draw telling distinctions between truth and falsehood, compassion and cruelty, the material and metaphysical, virtuous and vile, courageous and cowardly, and between deep conviction and feeble compromise. The distinguished - and frequently rebellious - poet Puran Singh's inspiration can also be traced to the sacrament of the Granth.

Bhai Vir Singh's personal contribution went beyond his own elegant and evocative writing. He not only founded the thought-provoking weekly, Khalsa Samachar, but also established the Khalsa Tract Society in 1894 which published monographs on a large number of themes, aimed at creating awareness and pride in the spiritual and cultural heritage of the Sikhs. Bhai Vir Singh's inputs were prodigious. He wote over 90 per cent of the 192 monographs published within six years of the Society's founding which were then distributed to over half a million subscribers.

Possibly because it has drifted far from its earlier moorings, contemporary Punjabi literature - which in effect means Sikh literature - has, unfortunately, neither kept pace with the purposefulness and moral certainties of the older generation of writers nor with the passionate lyricism of the younger. There are, as always, fine exceptions. But content, conviction and craftsmanship are generally lacking taday. All the more reason to ensure the success of books like Sikh Art and Literature by infusing new  enthusiasm in our endeavors to identify, encourage and publish undiscovered talent  in the coming millennium.

Patwant Singh

Illustrations

  Plates
  The color plate section lies between pages 114-15
1 'Guru Nanak', Lucknow or Farizabad, c. 1770
2 'Guru Nanak', by Sobha Singh, 1969
3 'The Ten Gurus', early nineteenth century
4 'Guru Hargobind Singh on Terrace with Attendant', Punjab Plains, 1750
5 'Guru Tegh Bahadur', 1670, Mughal school
6 'Guru Gobind Singh on Horseback with his Attendants', c. 1830
7 'Assembly of Sikh Generals on a Terrace', Punjab, c. 1830
8 'Young Maharaja Ranjit Singh', Company style, nineteenth century
9 'Sikh Marriage Ceremony', Company miniature style, nineteenth century
10 The Last Supper - Dedicated to Cha Cha Baldave: A Brave and Noble Soul', by Amrit K. D. Kaur, 1994/5
11 'Where Many Streams Meet', Arpana Caur, 1997
12 'Guru Gobind Singh on Horseback', artist of Guler-Kangra schools, early nineteenth century
13 'Ranjit Singh Equestrienne in Saffron Robes', Punjab, c. 1830
14 'Ranjit Singh in Darbar [Durbar]', by Hasan al Din, Punjab, first half of nineteenth century
15 'Maharaja Ranjit Singh with Hira Singh', Lahore, c. 1830
16 'Raja Ranbir Singh of Jammu', c. 1840
17 'Raja and Retinue Hunting Wild Boar', Mandi-Guler artist, c. 1830
18 Medal of Ranjit Singh's court, back and front, mid-nineteenth century
19 'Dalip Singh and Rani Jindan', mid-nineteenth century
20 'Bhai  Vir Singh', Lahore, c. 1850
21 'Guru Nanak Dev', by N.[athdwara] artist Pannalal Gopilal, c. 1930s
22 'Guru Gobind Singh', by N.[athdwara] artist Pannalal Gopilal, c. 1930s
23 'Bhai Bala recites Janam Sakhi to Guru Angad and Paira Mokha', Janam Sakhi, Unbound Set, late nineteenth century
24 'Bhai Mardana, Guru Nanak, Sirichand, Bhai Bala and Lakmichand', Janam Sakhi, Kashmiri Manuscript, early nineteenth century
25 'Guru Nanak at School with His Teacher, Jai Ram', Janam Sakhi, Unbound Set
26 'Guru Nanak and Rai Bulag', Janam Sakhi, Kashmiri Manuscript
27 'Guru Nanak and Rai  Bulag', Janam Sakhi, Unbound Set
28 'Guru Nanak and Bhai Bala at the Modi Khana [Granary]', Janam Sakhi, Unbound Set
29 'Guru Nanak's Wedding Procession', Janam Sakhi, Unbound Set
30 'Guru Nanak's Marriage - Departure of the Dholi', Janam Sakhi, Unbound Set
31 'Guru Nanak's Wedding Reception', Janam Sakhi, Unbound Set
32 'The Wedding of Guru Nanak', Janam Sakhi, Kashmiri Manuscript
33 'Baba Nanak and Nirankara', Janam Sakhi, Kashmiri Manuscript
34 'Guru Nanak Meets Raj Dev Lut of the Demons', Janam Sakhi, Unbound Set
35 'Guru Nanak's Meeting with Gorakhnath', Janam Sakhi, Unbound Set
36 'Maharaja Shere Singh (Present Sovereign of the Sikhs)', by Emily Eden, from Portraits of the Princes & People of India, 1844
37 'Portrait of Maharaja Duleep Singh', by William Beechey, mid-nineteenth century
38 The Throne of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, early nineteenth century
39 Emerald cup set with rubies in gold, eighteenth century
40 The Golden Temple
41 Circumambulating the Golden Temple
42 'The Golden Temple, Amritsar',by Amritsar artist, nineteenth century

Figures

1 'Guru Nanak', Lucknow or Faizabad, c. 1770 (detail of Plate 1) 5
2 'Guru Nanak Meets Raj Dev Lut of the Demons', Janam Sakhi, Unbound Set (detail of Plate 34) 6
3 'Guru Hargobind Singh on Terrace with Attendant', Punjab Plains, 1750 (detail of Plate 4) 9
4 'Guru Gobind Singh on Horseback with his Attendants', c. 1830 (detail of Plate 6) 10
5 'Dancing Girls', by W. G. Osborne from The Court and Camp of Runjeet Singh, 1840 12
6 'Maharaja Ranjit Singh', by Emily Eden, from Portraits of the Princes & People of India 13
7 'Private Native Durbar', by W.G Osborne from The Court and Camp of Runjeet Singh 14
8 'Assembly of Sikh Generals on a Terrace', Punjab, c. 1830 (detail of Plate 7) 14
9 Sikh helmet, nineteenth century 15
10 'Young Maharaja Ranjit Singh', Company style (detail of Plate 8) 15
11 'Sikh Marriage Ceremony', nineteenth century, Company miniature style (detail of Plate 9) 16
12 'Raja Karam Singh of Patiala', 1813-45, eastern Punjab plains, c. 1840 18
13 'Maharaja of Nabha', late nineteenth century 18
14 'Entrance to the Holy Temple at Umritsar, from the Gate of the Kutwallee', by a lady from Original Sketches of the Punjab, 1854 19
15 'Une Rue de Lahore, Mars 1842', by Alexis Soltykoff, Voyages dans I'Inde, 1851 20
16 'Guru Gobind Singh on the Ramparts of his Fort with Cannon', popular Sikh print, 1936-57 21
17 'The Last Supper - Dedicated to Cha Cha Baldave: A Brave and Noble Soul', by Amrit K.D. Kaur, 1994/5 (detail of Plate 10) 22
18 '1984', Arpana Caur, 1985 23
19 'Guru Gobind Singh on Horseback', astist of Guler-Kangra schools, early nineteenth century (detail of Plate 12) 30
20 'Guru Nanak's Visit to Mecca', Janam Sakhi, Unbound Set, nineteenth Century 32
21 'Ranjit Singh Equestrienne in Saffron Robes', Punjab, c. 1830 (detail of Plate 13) 36
22 'The Shalimar Gardens, Lahore', by W.G. Osborne from The Court and Camp of Runjeet Singh 37
23 'View of the Shesh Mahal or Palace of Glass', by a lady from Original Sketches of the Punjab, 1854 38
24 'Officers of Ranjit Singh's Ghorcharras [Cavalry]', Lahore, mid-nineteenth Century 38
25 'Members of Ranjit Singh's Ghorcharras, Lahore, mid-nineteenth Century 39
26 'Akali Leader', Lahore, mid-nineteenth century 40
27 Chakra (flat steel quoit), Punjab, perhaps Lahore, nineteenth century 41
28 'An Emaciated Band of Akalis', Lahore, mid-nineteenth century 42
29 'Schir Singh [Sher Singh] revenant d'une revue de troupes aux environs d'Umritsar, Mars 1842', by Alexis Soltykoff, Voyages dans I'Inde 42
30 'Ranjit Singh in Darbar [Durbar]', by Hasan al Din, Punjab, first half of nineteenth century (detail of Plate 14) 44
31 'Maharaja Ranjit Singh with Hira Singh', Lahore, c. 1830 (detail of Plates 15) 44
32 'Raja and Retinue Hunting Wild Boar', Mandi-Guler artist , c. 1830 (detail of Plate 17) 46/47
33 'Raja Kharak Singh', c. 1850 48
34 'Dalip Singh and Rani Jindan', c. 1840 (detail of Plate 19) 48
35 'Bhai Vir Singh', Lahore, c. 1850 (detail of Plate 20) 49
36 'Guru Nanak Visiting his Sister Bibi Nanaki', Janam Sakhi, Unbounde Set 53
37 'Guru Nanak at School with His Teacher, Jai Ram', Janam Sakhi, Unbound Set (detail of Plate 25) 55
38 'Guru Nanak and Rai Bulag', Janam Sakhi, Kashmiri Manuscript (detail of Plate 26) 56
39 'Guru Nanak and Rai Bulag', Janam Sakhi, Unbound Set (detail of Plate 27) 56
40 'Guru Nanak and Bhai Bala at the Modi Khana [Granary]', Janam Sakhi, Unbound Set (detail of Plate 28) 57
41 'Guru Nanak's Wedding Procession', Janam Sakhi, Unbound Set (detail of Plate 29) 57
42 'Guru Nanak's Marriage - Departureof the Dholi', Janam Sakhi, Unbound Set (detail of Plate 30) 57
43 'Guru Nanak's Wedding Ceremony', Janam Sakhi, Unbound Set 58
44 'Guru Nanak's Wedding Reception', Janam Sakhi, Unbound Set (detail of Plate 31) 58
45 'Guru Nanak and Bhai Bala with their Feet towards Mecca', Janam Sakhi, Unbound Set 60
46 'Guru Nanak with his Feet towards Mecca', Janam Sakhi, Kashmiri Manuscript 60
47 'Guru Nanak and the Sorceresses', Janam Sakhi, Unbound Set 62
48 'Guru Nanak and the Sorceresses', Janam Sakhi, Kashmiri Manuscript 62
49 'Guru Nanak's Meeting with Gorakhnath', Janam Sakhi, Unbound Set (detail of Plate 35) 64
50 'Guru Nanak's Meeting with Emperor Babur', Janam Sakhi, Unbound Set 64
51 'Guru Nanak's Discourse with a saint on Mt Akahnd (The Topless Mountain)', Janam Sakhi, Unbound Set 65
52 'The Goddess Durga Riding a Tiger, with Worshippers and Attendants', Janam Sakhi, Kashmiri Manuscript 65
53 'Guru Nanak in the Graveyard/Ritual Treatment', Janam Sakhi, Unbound Set 66
54 The Throne of Maharaja Ranjit Singh 73
55 'Sikh Chieftains', by Prince Alexis Soltykoff, Indian Scenes and Characters, 1858 73
56 'Purtab (Pratap) Singh', by Emily Eden, from Portraits of the Princes & People of India 75
57 'Runjeet Singh, the founder of the Punjaub Empire', from a drawing by an Indian artist, c. 1840s 76
58 'Submission of the Maharajah Dhuleep Singh, to Sir Henry Hardinge', by Hablot K. Browne 79
59 'HRH the Maharajah Dhuleep Singh', c. 1860 80
60 'Horses and Jewels of Runjeet Singh', by Emily Eden, from Portraits of the Princes & People of India 84
61 Augustus (Emperor from 27 BC to AD 14) 90
62 Model of the Forum of Augustus 91
63 'Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Maharaja Sher Singh', by John Jones from Moghul Drawings 92
64 'Hariminder Sahib', by John Jones from Moghul Drawings 92
65 Model of a temple (sixth century BC) 94
66 Plan of temple at Paestum 94
67 Temple in the Forum Boarium, Rome 95
68 Guru Ka Lahore at Anandpur Sahib 96
69 Hol Garh Sahib at Anandpur Sahib 97
70 Hari Mandir Sahib at Kiratpur 98
71 Sanctuary of Fortuna Primigenia at Praeneste 99
72 Sanctuary of Hercules Victor at Tibur 100
73 Ram Sar temple at Amritsar 101
74 Ram Sar temple and pool at Amritsar 102
75 Dardar Sahib at Dehra Baba Nanak 103
76 Angitha Sahib at Khadoor Sahib 104
77 Gateway of Angitha Sahib at Khadoor Sahib 104
78 Darbar Sahib at Tarn Taran 105
79 Archway of Darbar Sahib at Tarn Taran 106
80 Plan of the Forum of Augustus 107
81 Model of the colonnade 107
82 Statue in portico 108
83 Temple of Mars the Avenger 108
84 Statue of Mars the Avenger in the temple 110
85 'The Golden Temple', Amritsar 111
86 'The Holy Temple', by a lady from Original Sketches of the Punjab, 1854  
87 Upper storey of the Golden Temple 113
88 'Guru Nanak, Mardana and Bhai Bala on Balcony', nineteenth century 118
89 Detail from 'Guru Nanak's Meeting with Salas Rai, the Jeweller', Janam Sakhi, Unbound Set 120
90 M.A. Macauliffe 130
91 Bhai Vir Singh 144
92 Puran Singh 156
93 Bhai Mohan Singh Vaid 174
94 Khushwant Singh 182

 

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