The Transformation of Nature in Art
Coomaraswamy's text, with a compliments slip from the editor, Kapila Vatsyayan
First edition thus. Hardback in dustwrapper. 22 × 14cm, 189pp.
Not signed but this copy has a compliments slip from the edited, Kapila Vatsyayan, in her capacity as academic director of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts pasted in to the half-title page.
In The Transformation of Nature in Art, Ananda Coomaraswamy explains the theory behind medieval European and Asian art, especially art in India, and also in China. The first principle of Asian art is that art does not exist for its own sake; it exists as means to religious conditions or experience. Coomaraswamy first discusses the theory of art in Asia and contends that the Indian artist did not seek an illusion of Nature; rather, he tried to create a truthful suggestion of the character of the subject. In the second chapter he examines medieval European aesthetics in terms of the fourteenth-century German mystic, Meister Eckhart. Subsequent chapters investigate through Indian texts the psychology of the Indian view of art. And finally, the origin and use of images in India are discussed.
A good copy. The book is in sound readable condition, the dustwrapper is worn to the edges and sun-faded to the spine.