SOAS University of London

Department of the History of Art and Archaeology, School of Arts

“Men and gods, and things”: Maratha Art and Moor’s “Hindu Pantheon” (1810)

Holly Shaffer (Yale University)

Date: 27 February 2013Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 27 February 2013Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B111

Type of Event: Seminar

In 1810 Edward Moor, an officer in the East India Company, published The Hindu Pantheon in London, a lengthy book with a hundred additional plates engraved after works of Indian art in his collection. Moor’s tome, one of the earliest English publications to classify the Hindu gods, is about mythology. His method of defining mythology, however, was through Indian art. With the aid of Indian assistants and fellow soldiers, Moor collected the hundreds of paintings and sculptures that informed his publication in the region around Pune. Thus despite his desired goal of a universal catalogue of the Hindu gods, he inadvertently documented a local art history. By aligning his colonial publication and archive with its diverse artistic, religious and historical context in the western Deccan, I will explore a larger history of Maratha art and colonialism.

Organiser: Crispin Branfoot

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