Grandpa Kewl

Book Review – The Arts and Crafts of Travancore, Kramrisch, Poduval and Cousins

The Arts and Crafts of Travancore, Kramrisch, Poduval and Cousins

Printed by the Royal India and Pakastan Society.

Found this in an antique shop somewhere and just had to buy it.

Travancore is a “province”, if that is the right term (and I doubt it is) for an area of India at the southern tip, western side. The book describes the architecture, sculpture, wood and stone carving and paints that adorn the area and its temples. It was obviously written by folks who had a real and personal appreciation for the art works and their enthusiasm for it shows through nicely. As a result, it reads much more friendly than your usual book on art.

The text is supplemented by a large number of black and white photographs which range from very nice to poor and out of focus or suffering from some bad lighting. This is one area that could have used some improvement.Having said that, the choices do a pretty decent job of illustrating the areas of interest and the quality of the work. Some of the carvings are quite amazing in their details. One of the stone carving of a woman, plate XXXVIII is absolutely stunning.

As with most books like this, the writing gets a bit tedious for the non-specialist but that is to be expected as I am no art major. But, on balance, it was an interesting read and gave me a better appreciation for the area. The skills and love of the ancients never fails to impress me.

I should include a scan of that bit of stone work I like so much….

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