Baroque India (The Neo-Roman Religious Architecture of South Asia: A Global Stylistic Survey)

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Item Code: IDL074
Publisher: Indira Gandhi National Centre For The Arts, Aryan Books International
Author: Jose Pereira
Language: English
Edition: 2000
ISBN: 8173051615
Pages: 520 (Illustrated Throughout in B/W)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 10.9" X 8.8"
Weight 2.19 kg
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Book Description
From The Jacket

Baroque India is the fruit of cover 40 years of research, and is the work of one professionally trained in the history of Indian art (Hindu, Buddhist and Jain). In addition, he is the author of a survey of Islamic architecture world-wide, which includes, of course, the Indo-Islamic tradition. It is his belief that Indian Baroque-or, more correctly, India Neo-Roman-cannot be properly appreciated without an understanding of the architectural styles that preceded it on the subcontinent, and which exercised a significant impact on it.

To produce the book the author not only visited the various sites which contain the monuments of Indian Neo-Roman, but has travelled as an architectural pilgrim over much of the Neo-Roman world, in Europe and the Americas. He has also familiarized himself with the art-historical theories on the various styles of architecture, in particular, the Neo-Roman. He has thus prepared himself to contemplate Baroque India's contribution against the Neo-Roman background.

In consequence, the method adopted in this book has been that of summarily describing the distinctive spatial modalities of the various Neo-Roman styles, as reflected in their major monuments, especially the styles which impacted on India: a method that facilitates the discernment of the specific Indian contribution to Neo-Ramon taken as a whole.

In so doing, the author has tried to outline a consistent aesthetic theory of Neo-Roman, to portray its five major modes-Renaissance, Mannerism, Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassicism - as expressions of the Neo-Roman essence, immanently developing, in the indicated sequence, one from the other, and pullulating a rich variety of spatial themes that both display a marked originality and manifest a capacity for assimilating the spatial nuances of the other architectural styles. This theory, he believes, has enabled him to distinguish the originality of Indian him to distinguish the originality of Indian Neo-Roman, and describe what it has absorbed from the subcontinent's Indian and Indo-Islamic styles, while integrating the absorbed material into its Neo-Roman substance.

Jose Pereira is Professor of theology at Fordham University in New York, where he teachers History of Religions. He holds a doctorate from the University of Bombay in Ancient Indian History and Culture. He has been Visiting Professor at the Instituto Superior de Estudos Ultramarinos in Lisbon (1959-1960), research fellow in the History of Indian Art at the School of Oriental and Africa Studies in London (1962-1966), and Research Associate in the History of Indian Art at The American Academy of Benares at Varanasi (1967-1969). In the latter institution he chose as his project the architecture of Baroque India, and the present work is based on the research organized for that project. The photographs then taken in field trips to the various regions of Baroque India, including those reproduced in the present work, are preserved in the archives of the American Institute of Indian Studies at Varanasi.

Professor Pereira is the author of numerous articles and books - on theology, and on architectural, cultural, philological and literary history. Among his books are the following: Hindu Theology (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1976), Monolithic Jinas (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1979), Elements of Indian Architecture (Motilal Banarsidass, 1987), Islamic Sacred Architecture. A Stylistic History (New Delhi: Books & Books, 1994), and Baroque Goa. The Architecture of Portuguese India (New Delhi: Books & Books, 1995)

Cover Design: Teresa Pereira

The front of the cover displays the elevation of the church of Santana at Tallauli/Talaulim (1681-1695), possibly designed by FRANCISCO DO REGO. The back of the cover shows the interior of the church of Nossa Senhora da Divina Providencia in Velha Goa (1656-1661), designed by CARLO FERRARINI and FRANCESCO MERIA MILAZZO (photograph by Marie-Pierre Astier)



As is in other spheres of Indian life and art, the architecture heritage of India also exemplifies plurality and co-existence of many temporal moments and crossing of boundaries yet retaining an identity. Scores of monuments, shrines, and memorials distributed the country bear testimony to the twin processes of a distinct style as also osmosis which takes place with styles of earlier periods and adjacent areas as also assimilations of new influences. This event in India from very early times.

The several volumes on architecture published by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) bear testimony to the characteristic features of this dynamics of the interplay of the cosmic and the terrestrial, the humble indigenous and the monumental, the distinctively regional and the pan-Indian. A.K. Coomaraswamy's Essays in Early Indian Architecture throws light on the humbles hamlets as also the symbolic meaning of architectural members. Adam Hardy's book Indian Temple Architecture: Form and Transformation takes the theme further by demonstrating convincingly the multilayered system. The study on Govindadeva: A Dialogue in Stone is a prefect example of the processes of interaction and fusion. The volume on Stupa and Its Technology: A Tibeto-Buddhist Perspective and Paul Mus's Barabudur: Sketch of a History of Buddhism Based on Archaeological Criticism of the Texts exemplify these processes in the context of Buddhism monuments found not only in India but also in Tibet and Indonesia. No architecture scheme appears to work in total isolation or insulation and yet it acquires a distinctive personality. Whether it is the potential of the Indian tradition to assimilate without being purely derivative or the more universal and complex processes of the giver and the receiver is difficult to priorities. It is evident that the trend continues well into the Eighteenth and even Nineteenth centuries. Prof. Jose Pereira's volume Baroque India: The Neo-Roman Religious Architecture of South Asia, A Global Stylistic Survey cogently traces the history of the evolution of Baroque in the context of India. His volume Baroque Goa: The Architecture of Portuguese India (Books and Books, Delhi, 1995) had focused on Goa. Prof, Pereira in the present monograph now explores thoroughly the applicability of terms like Baroque and Neo-Roman to a specific of colonial (local) architectural development in India represented by several grand edifices.

The colonial expansion in South Asia undoubtedly was an era of economic exploitation and political oppression. Nevertheless, it also brought in its wake the possibility of a dialogue between the East and West. There was mutual influence. Many seminal ideas travelled to the West and aspects of European knowledge and technology effected the Indian arts and crafts. In some cases hybrid styles emerged, in others there was a more meaningful blending of genres and styles. The history of this Indo-European dialogue is complex and a more balanced reassessment in different fields has yet to be made.

Without making evaluation statements, it is clear that there is evidence of the impact of the colonial presence in many domains of life and art. In architecture, buildings such as Tirumalan ayaka's Palace at Madurai; Mattancheri Palace, Cochin; several Nawabi mansions of Lucknow; and various notable edifices of Calcutta, Mumbai and elsewhere are typical examples.

The author in his monograph deals with the various issue relating to the transmission and growth of European architectural traditions in India within a local format. Giving the political history associated with the subject as a background, he discusses various other details, viz., the structural antecedents and stylistic aesthetics, architectural contents of the monuments connected with the Indian Baroque and Neo-Roman traditions and aspects of ornamentation and draws some significant conclusions.

Prof. Pereira gives us his overview of the political history, the aesthetics of the Neo-Roman, the characteristics of the Baroque, the interactions with Indian styles and the emergence of a distinctively Indian Baroque. Prof. Pereira builds up a strong case for Indianized Baroque as a regional development with characteristic, especially the churches including those raised by Protestants in the Western coastal areas, and elsewhere in India to stress his view-point. According to the author, the regional manifestation of the Goan Baroque also contains typical Indian elements associated with structural tradition of medieval India e.g. presence of amalakas, lotus and cypress motifs, pot-shaped pillar-bases, Bengal -roofs, etc., and develops its own structural features. HE also records the presence of certain features of Baroque style in some of the Hindu shrines of Goa built during the Portuguese rule. Prof. Pereira also tries to visualize some sort of aesthetic parallelism between Hindu temples and Baroque structures. Assessing the process of Indianization of Neo-Roman architecture, he describes it as "European in grammar and Indian in syntax, though later even grammar was considerably modified". Therefore, this type of stylistic transformation, as a whole, has to be treated as an Indian development in the same way as the Indo-Islamic architecture, which also was the result of a dialogue with architectural styles of non-Indian origin.

Prof. Pereira through an in-depth study of European and Indian architecture, methodical analyses and logical inferences has been able to expose almost an unknown chapter of Indian's art history. Our author, who besides being an architectural historian, is a linguist specialising in Latin and Sanskrit and other European and Indian languages, a specialist on religious and philosophical thought of Asia and Europe and a painter of repute. He has devoted more than two decades in carrying out the present study. In his conclusions, he attempts to highlight the contribution of India to Neo-Roman architecture idiomatically, axiomatically and aesthetically. I have no doubt that his exposition will interest both cultural historians as also students of architecture. Prof. Pereira's views and inferences on the subject may not be shared by some scholars or readers but his contribution to the colonial phase of Indian art is not without significance.

The IGNCA is deeply involved in the integrated study of Indian art and architecture under its Ksetra-Sampada programme in the context of which investigations are made on a structural heritage zone/area serving as a sacred centre, keeping in view its character in totality. The objective of these studies is to understand architecture as an expression of life in relation to rituals, myths, culture and environment. Goa as an architecture heritage zone with many notable shrines, sanctuaries and churches, bound together through a structural idiom, indeed serves as a point of cultural convergence and radiation bringing together the people to a common socio-religious fold. Prof. Pereira's present work corroborates IGNCA's approach to a Ksetra (area) and, is yet another example of the efficacy of IGNCA's theoretical position.

I am grateful to Prof. Pereira for allowing IGNCA to publish the book. I would like to thank my colleagues Mr. M.C. Joshi for reading the manuscript carefully, and Dr. Lalit M. Gujral for seeing it through the press.


  Foreword - By Kapila Vatsyayan vii
1. Neo-Roman and the Baroque 1
2. Catholicism and the Baroque 1
3. Styles of Neo-Roman 2
4. World-wide diffusion of Neo-Roman 3
5. Neo-Roman in Asia and india 3
6. Synthetic and inclusive approach of the present work 3
7. Acknowledgements 4
8. Conventions used in the text 5
  Chapter 1. Political History 7
9. Creators of Baroque Indian History 7
10. The Indian dynasties 12
11. The three sacred imperialisms, Muslim, Christian and Hindu 13
12. Portuguese crusade against Islam 14
13. Hindu-Muslim wars in India 16
14. Portuguese India 17
15. Phases of Portuguese overseas expansion. Phase of the Indian empire 17
16. Phase of the Brazilian empire 21
17. Phase of the African empire 23
18. Dutch India 27
19. Phases of Dutch rule in India 28
20. Danish India 28
21. French India 29
22. Phases of French rule in India 29
23. British India 31
24. Phases of British rule in India 31
  Chapter 2. Aesthetics of Neo-Roman 36
25. Anthropic and cosmic character of architecture 36
26. Curved and rectilinear space: the Baroque and Classicism 37
27. Spatial characteristics of the Baroque, architecture of the curviform 37
28. Illuminational characteristics of the Baroque [65] 38
29. Classicism and the Baroque Impulse 39
30. Architectonic and Decorative Baroque 39
31. Mannerism 40
32. The Indian Aesthetic 40
33. Scientific and intuitive awareness of the structure of the cosmos 44
34. Trabeate and arcuate construction 45
35. The Parthian and Roman General of arcuate architecture 45
36. India and the Parthian and Roman Genera 47
37. The Neo-Roman styles in India 48
38. Inauguration of the Neo-Roman Revolution 48
39. BRUNELLESCHI'S four-point programme: the Four Specifics of Neo-Roman architecture 49
40. Classical precedent for BRUNELLESCHI's programme 50
41. Roman attitudes to the programmatic organization of space 50
42. Decay of the programmatic approach 51
43. Restoration of the programmatic approach in medieval Italy 51
44. Transformation of the Four Specifics. Transformation of Specific 1, idiom 52
45. Transformation of Specific 2, proportion 57
46. Transformation of Specific 3, syntacticity 59
47. Transformation of Specific 4, perspective 60
48. Ambiguity of Neo-Roman 61
49. Assimilative power of Neo-Roman 62
50. Aesthetics of fragmentation and integration in Neo-roman 62
51. The nine categories: criteria for the definition of the Neo-Roman style 64
52. Definition of styles, 1. Renaissance 65
53. Renaissance idiomatics: the classical orders 67
54. Description of the five orders [4,5]. 68
55. Renaissance decorative forms 70
56. Definition of style, 2. Mannerism 71
57. Academic Mannerism 71
58. Antinomian Mannerism 75
59. Microtectonic Antinomian Mannerism 76
60. Macrotectonic Antinomian Mannerism 77
61. Mannerist decorative Forms, architectonic, Antinomian 79
62. Mannerist decorative forms, picturesque 80
63. Definition of styles, 3. Baroque 81
64. Baroque spatially 81
65. Baroque illumination [28] 83
66. Baroque decorative forms 86
67. The salomonic column 87
68. Renaissance revival of the salomonic column 87
69 Morphology of the salomonic column 88
70. Spiral shaft of the salomonic column 88
71. Unscrolled zone of the salomonic column 89
72. Scrolled zone of the salomonic column 89
73. Living creatures figured on the salomonic column 90
74. Acanthus ring on the salomonic column 91
75. Definition of styles, 4. Rococo 91
76. Rococo decorative forms 93
77. Definition of styles, 5.Neoclassicism 95
  Chapter 3. Architecture: Evolution, Styles, History And Historiography 103
78. Three main European sources of Indian Neo-Roman 104
79 Prelude to Portuguese Neo-Roman: the Manueline (1480-1560) 105
80. Vestiges of the Manueline India 107
81. Portuguese Renaissance (1490-1550) 111
82. Mannerism in Portugal and Brazil 112
83. Portuguese and Brazilian Baroque (1680-1780) 115
84. Portuguese and Brazilian Rococo (1750-1800) 120
85. Portuguese and Brazilian Neoclassicism (1760-1850) 123
86. Neo-Roman in France. French Renaissance (1490-1540) 123
87. French Mannerism, Academic and Baroquized (1540-1780) 123
88. Rococo Interlude (1730-1760) 125
89. French Neoclassicism (1760-1840) 126
90. Neo-Roman in French India 127
91. Neo-Roman in Britain 129
92. British Baroquized Academic Mannerism and Antinomian Mannerism 130
93. British Neopalladianism 131
94. Regions of Neo-Roman architecture in India 133
95. Styles of Neo-Roman architecture in India 134
96. General characteristics of the Indian Neo-Roman styles 135
97. General characteristics of the West Coast styles 136
98. General characteristics of the Malabari style 137
99. Characteristics of the Norteiro style 140
100. Characteristics of the Konkani style 141
101. Coromandel style 148
102. Indian Neo-Roman among the Neo-Roman traditions of Africa and Asia 149
103. Neo-Roman in China 151
104. Filipino Neo-Roman 152
105. Periods of Indian Neo-Roman history 156
106. First periods: implantation of the European style (1500-1550) 156
107. Second periods: genesis of the Indian style and the maturity of the European (1550-1760) 157
108. Third period: maturity of the Indian style (1660-1760) 161
109 Fourth periods: Finals of the Indian and European styles (1760-1850) 162
110. Historiography of Neo-Roman architrcture20 163
111. Historiography of Indian architecture 164
112. Historiography of Portuguese architecture 165
113. Initiation of Indian Neo-Roman art historiography 168
114. Contemporary Portuguese art historiography 170
115. Contemporary art historiography of Neo-Roman India 172
  Chapter 4. Catholic Churches: Types 177
116. The Christian church 178
117. Types of Christian church, central and longitudinal 179
118. Types of Neo-Roman churches in India 182
119. The Hall church 183
120. Goan Hall churches 185
121. The Se (catedral de Santa Catarina) in Velha Goa. Neo-Roman cathedrals in the Iberian world 186
122. The architect of the Se, JULIO SIMAO/JULES SIMON (fl. 1565-1641) 187
123. Brief history of the Se 190
124. Herreran idiom of the Se 191
125. Other similarities and some differences between the Simonian and Herreran idioms 191
126. Interior spatiality of the Hall Church, in particular, the Se 192
127. Latin cross-domed church 195
128. Interior spatiality of the Latin cross-domed church 197
129. Interior spatiality of the Franco-Indian Latin cross-domed churches 198
130. Greek cross-domed church 200
131. Evolution of the Greek cross-domed church 201
132. Interior spatiality of the Greek cross-domed church 203
133. Exterior spatiality of the Neo-Roman church. Some types of façade 204
134. Towers façades 205
135. Wall façades 206
136. Types of Wall façade, 1. The hollowed façade 207
138. Types of Wall façade, 3. The templiform façade 211
139. Column façade 210
140. Indian Neo-Roman façade. The Tower façade 212
141. Goan Immured Prostyle façade, the Providencia 212
142. Franco-Indian Immured Prostyle facade 217
143. Indian versions of the Standard Italian façade 217
144. Franco-Indian façade of Standard Italian format 220
145. Neo-Roman dome 223
146. Varieties of the Neo-Roman dome 225
147. Indian Neo-Roman domes 227
  Chapter 5. The Diminuted Sanctuary Church 233
148. Notes of the Diminuted Sanctuary Church 233
149 Other features of the Diminuted Sanctuary Church 235
150. Various formats of the Diminuted Sanctuary Church 235
151. The standard or oblong format of the Diminuted Sanctuary Church 236
152. The polygonal format of the Diminuted Sanctuary Church 238
153. The curviform format of the Diminuted Sanctuary Church 239
154. The mixtilinear format of the Diminuted Sanctuary Church 239
155. The Box Church and its evolution 239
156. The Indian Diminuted Sanctuary Church 240
157. Portals 241
158. Porch and narthex façades 244
159. Fronton shapes 245
160. Volute shapes 249
161. Finials 251
162. Façade and rear towers 252
163. Compartmentation or reticulation 253
164. Column-pilaster combinations 258
165. Contrast in days and storeys 260
166. Arrangement of voids 262
167. Unpierced surfaces 264
168. Emblems and niches 265
169. Frontispiece-tower interlink 266
170. Interiors: structural units 267
171. The Goan planed groin vault 270
172. Organization of the interior 274
  Chapter 6. Gilt-Woodwork: Retables And Pulpits 297
173. The Christian altar 298
174. Functions of the altar 298
175. Traditions of the altar 299
176. The Portuguese altar traditions 300
177. The Indian altar traditions 303
178. The idiomatics of the altar: basic features 306
179. Idiomatics of the altar: architectural articulation 307
180. Axiomorphics of the altar: altar types 307
181. Axiomorphics of the altar: altar types 309
182. Axiomorphics of the altar: special environment 309
183. Iconography of the altar 310
184. Portuguese and Brazilian iconography 313
185. Indian iconography 314
186. Aesthetics of the altar 316
187. Evolution of the retable 318
188. Shrine Retable 319
189. Tabernacle: theology 320
190 Tabernacle: types 321
191. Expositorium 322
192. Portuguese Expositorium or trono 325
193. Indian tabernacles 329
194. Parietal Retable 330
195. Main features of the retable, 1: plan 330
196. Main features of the retable, 2: spacing of the bays 330
197. Main features of the retable, 3: voids 332
198. Main features of the retable, 4: predella or socle 334
199. Main features of the retable, 5: attic 335
200. Portuguese Pinnacled and Aedicular Attics 336
201. Portuguese Arched Attics 338
202. Portuguese Convoluted Attics 339
203. Indian attic 342
204. Indian Aedicule Attics, first phase 344
205. Indian Aedicule Attics, Second phase 347
206. Indian Convoluted Attics 349
207. Indian Arched Attics 350
208. Main features of the retable, 6: enframement 352
209. Pulpit: Theology 354
210. Description of the pulpit 355
211. Indian pulpits 355
212 Indian salomonic columns 355
213. Five Indian pulpit traditions 356
214. Evolution of the ornamentation of the Indian pulpit 358
215. Components of the Indian pulpit 358
216. Evolution of the component of the Indian pulpit 358
217. Subdivision of the components of the Indian pulpit 359
218. Parts of the Indian canopy 359
219. Indian pulpit cupola 359
220. Indian pulpit crown 360
221. Indian coronal volutes and cresting motifs 360
222. Indian pulpit tester 360
223. Indian pulpit supraport 361
224. Indian pulpit doorway 361
225. Indian pulpit encincture 363
226. Indian pulpit bowl 365
227. Indian pulpit stalk 365
  Chapter 7. Crosses, Shrines And Hindu Temples 369
228. Connection between piazza crosses, wayside shrines, and Hindu temples 369
229. Indo-Syrian piazza cross 369
230 Indo-Latin piazza cross 371
231. Wayside shrines or furis 376
232. The Hindu temple [cf. 32] 376
233 The Maratha temple 380
234 The Goan temple 381
235. Associate structures of the Goan temple 386
236. Goan church and Hindu temple compared 387
237. Evolution of the Goan Hindu temple 388
238. fate of the Goan Hindu temple 389
  Chapter 8. Protestant Churches 397
239. Protestant architecture church 397
240. Paradoxes of the Protestant church 398
241. Creation of a distinctive Protestant architectural history 398
242 Protestantism and the Baroque 399
243. Dutch Classicism 399
244. Four periods of Protestant architectural history 400
245. Initial; period (1540-1600), of Protestantization 400
246. Centralized oblong plan 401
247. Galleried interiors 401
248. Second period (1600-1650), of Dutch dominance or Protestant autonomy 402
249. Dutch Protestant architecture of the second period 402
250. Danish Protestant architecture of the second period 403
251. French Protestant architecture of the second period 403
252. British Protestant architecture of the second period 403
253. Third period (1650-1750), of British and German dominance , or Catholicization 404
254. British Protestant churches of the third period. The evolution of the Anglican church 404
255. Eccentric varieties of the Anglican church 406
256. Standardization of the Anglican church 406
257. Problem of a distinctive exterior silhouette for a Protestant church 407
258. Evolution of the paradigm of the Anglican church 407
259. Limitations of the paradigm 408
260. British Indian Protestant churches of the third period 409
261. Danish protestant churches of the third period 409
262. Danish Indian Protestant churches of the third period 410
263. Fourth period (1750-1900), of America dominance or-Protestantization 410
264. British Protestant architecture of the fourth period 410
265. British Indian Protestant architecture of the fourth period 411
266. British Indian Armenian churches 413
  Epilogue 417
267. Historical importance of Indian Neo-Roman 417
268. Idiomatic contribution of India to Neo-Roman architecture 418
269. Axiomorphic contribution of Indian to Neo-Roman architecture 419
270. Aesthetic contribution of India to Neo-Roman architecture 420
  List of Illustrations 423
271. Line drawings 423
272. Plates. Interspersed in text. Plates 1-12 432
273. Plates: Portfolio, 1. Piazza crosses. Plates 13-16 433
274. Plates: Portfolio, 2.Façades. Plates 17-35 433
275. Plates: Portfolio, 3. Interiors. Plates 36-50 435
276. Plates: Portfolio, 4. Vaults and domes. Plates 51-65 436
277. Plates: Portfolio, 5. Retables and tabernacles. Plates 66-89 437
278. Plates: Portfolio, 6. Pulpit. Plates 90-97 440
279. Plates: Portfolio, 7. Indian Gothic. Plates 98-99 440
280. Plates: Portfolio, 8. Ecclesiastical furniture and woodwork. Plates 100-104 441
  Bibliography 443
281. Bibliography of Indian Neo-Roman. From 1951 443
282. Tribute to Significant art historians 445
  Index 447
283. Persons 447
284 Monuments 455
285. Themes 480

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