La création d’une iconographie śivaïte narrative

Incarnations du dieu dans les temples pallava construits

Valérie GILLET

Collection : Collection Indologie

Collection's number: 113

Edition: EFEO, Institut français de Pondichéry (IFP)

Publication date: 2010

Status : Se renseigner auprès de l'éditeur


ISBN-13 : 978-2-85539-104-5

ISSN : 0073-8352

Width : 21 cm

Height : 28 cm

Weight : 1,65 kg

Number of pages : 404

Distributor : EFEO Pondichéry Contact :, distributeur online :, distributeur Chennai :

Geography : Inde

Language : Français

Place : Pondichéry

Support : Papier

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At the end of the 7th century, the Pallava dynasty began to construct the first temples built entirely of stone in the Tamil-speaking South. For the most part these were dedicated to Śiva and their walls are thus adorned with representations of him in various embodiments, some benign, some fierce and sanguinary, others victorious and regal. A lengthy introduction presents the historical and religious contexts in which this imagery was conceived and flourished. Each chapter of the book is then devoted to one of the principal forms of Śiva, and the concluding chapter attempts to outline the iconographical program of a Saiva sanctuary in the Pallava period. Because narrative Saiva art was not widely developed by this time, the illustration of many deeds of Śiva had still to be invented. It is therefore the creation of an iconography that we see in Pallava monuments, an iconography inspired both by pan-Indian mythology and by local traditions, borrowing at the same time elements from various religious movements. If some Pallava representations both appear and disappear with the dynasty, most of them were long to exert influence on subsequent South Indian sculptural art. Thus narrative Pallava sculpture appears to stand at the point of origin of a long and now deeply rooted tradition.

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