Featured Topic: Hinduism

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Hinduism and Hindu Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
A brief overview of Hinduism and Hindu art in India, with emphasis on the importance of architecture and sculpture. With 9 images of related artworks.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/hind/hd_hind.htm
Puja: Expressions of Hindu Devotion
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
"Hindu worship known as puja is the act of showing reverence to a god or to aspects of the divine. This online guide for educators offers background information, activities, a bibliography and a resource list about puja." Chapter 2 (Background Information) includes an excellent general guide to Hinduism, including information about the origins of Hinduism, Hindu beliefs, gods and goddesses, places of worship, and more.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.asia.si.edu/education/pujaonline/puja/start.htm
Recognizing the Gods
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
A guide to the iconography of Hindu and Buddhist deities in South Asian sculpture. Discusses specific poses, hand gestures, postures, vehicles, and accoutrements. With images of 11 related artworks and an explanatory drawing of five mudras (hand gestures).

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/gods/hd_gods.htm
Devi: The Great Goddess
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Online presentation of a 1999 exhibition that looked at the six aspects of the goddess Devi, all-important in Hinduism, but also relevant to Buddhism and Jainism. Informative text organized into four topics: 1) Who Is Devi; 2) Aspects of Devi; 3) Interpreting Devi; 4) Tantric Devi Series. Pop-up glossary and illustrations throughout. The "Tantric Devi Series" features a selection of images from a set of 17th-century paintings that visualize Devi in expressive forms of strength and beauty.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.asia.si.edu/education/devi/index.htm
Sacred Texts: The Devimahatmya
The British Library
This manuscript "written on palm-leaf" is "a Sanskrit hymn extolling the Goddess as the Supreme Principle of the Universe." This version was "copied in 'Newari' script in 1549 and illuminated in Nepal with 32 miniatures and painted covers in the reign of Jayapranamalla of Bhaktapur (1523–?1550) for the use of the king." Featuring excellent high-resolution images of the manuscript, along with background information on Hinduism.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/sacredtexts/devimahatmya.html
Stories of Krishna: The Adventures of a Hindu God
Seattle Art Museum
"The nine paintings in this interactive tell the story of Krishna, an incarnate of the Hindu god Vishnu. Follow the story of Krishna from his birth to his adventures slaying evil demons. Originally written in Sanskrit text, these stories of Krishna go back to the 5th century BCE and sing the praise of Vishnu and all his earthly forms." With short, illustrated audio clips that introduce the story in each painting, plus additional audio clips that introduce details and characters in each painting.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/exhibit/interactives/intimateWorlds/launchWin.h...
Sacred Texts: The Ramayana
The British Library
This illustrated manuscript of the Ramayana (the story of the heroic deeds of Rama, Prince of Ayodhya) consists of seven large volumes with more than 400 paintings. Featuring excellent high-resolution images of one of the paintings from the manuscript, along with background information on Hinduism and the Ramayana.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/sacredtexts/ramayana.html
The Sensuous and the Sacred: Chola Bronzes from South India
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Online presentation of a 2003 exhibition of South Indian bronzes produced under the reign of the Chola dynasty (ca. 860-1279). The website features four sections: 1) a guide to the various Hindu saints depicted in the sculptures (Vishnu, Shiva, Ganesha, Uma, and others); 2) a step-by-step guide to how bronze sculptures of this type were produced; 3) a guide to how the sculptures would be used in religious practice; 4) a brief introduction to the Chola dynasty.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.asia.si.edu/exhibitions/online/chola/chola.htm
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