Art and Representation: Contributions to Contemporary Aesthetics

By Ananta Ch. Sukla | Go to book overview
Save to active project


Representation in Painting and Drama: Arguments from Indian Aesthetics



As early as the 4th century B.C. drama was conceived in India as the representation of actions of the three worlds—heaven, earth, and the underworld, that is, the actions of the gods, human beings, and demons. The Sanskrit words used for representation by Bharata, the father of Indian aesthetics in general and dramaturgy in particular, in his work entitled Nāṭyaśāstra, are anukṛti and anukaraṇa, which literally mean imitation, or doing after. But Bharata creates problems when, in his definition of drama, he also uses two other Sanskrit terms bhāvānukīrtana and anubhāvana, which mean re- (or/after) description of emotion and re-/after occurrence of emotion respectively. These two sets of terms allow a scope for the commentators of Bharata for interpreting the nature of representation in drama in different ways. But before coming to the commentators, it is necessary to understand Bharata’s own conception of drama as available in the information he provides about the origin and the nature of dramatic art taking both the artwork itself and its experience by the audience into consideration.


Once, the gods appealed to Brahmā, the proto-creator of the universe, to present them a toy (kr̄iḍanīyaka) that should be both visible and audible. Such a toy would delightfully purify the creatures of Jambudvipa (the mythical name of India) who, being deviated from appropriate conduct being afflicted by passions (lust, jealousy, anger, and the like) Brahmā, the composer of the four Vedas, was


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Art and Representation: Contributions to Contemporary Aesthetics


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 282

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?