The Department of Philosophy, University of Mumbai, started a section on Aesthetics in 1998. This section is concerned with the study, research and dissemination of the history of visionary ideas, thus straddling the worlds of philosophy and art history. In 1999, the section introduced a seminal one-year post-graduate diploma on Indian aesthetics. The objective is to enable those seriously interested in the subject to appreciate Indian art at a deeper level. It provides the student with the tools that will help them place a work of art in its true setting and thus savour the experience of Indian art as it should be enjoyed. 

The course attempts to understand the ideas that have shaped our worldviews, thereby leading to the development of visual forms. It examines the pluralistic nature of Indian thought and the diversity of its arts over the centuries. Beginning with the Indus Valley civilization and ending with contemporary art trends, the course weaves its way through 5000 years of visual art history, giving tribal and folk traditions their timeless place in the saga of Indian art.

An understanding of the philosophical and religious tenets of the period and the ages forms the backbone of this study. Thus Vedic, Buddhist, Jaina, Hindu-Agamic, Tantric and Islamic doctrines are examined in relation to their influence on Indian architecture, sculpture and painting. Aesthetic theories and texts, shastric concepts and precepts, and their role in the understanding of Indian art are examined. The inter-disciplinary nature of Indian art is reviewed by placing illustrated manuscript paintings in their literary context. The course ends with the study of the notions of colonialism, nationalism, modernism, post-modernism, and their visual paradigms. 

The scholars teaching the course are renowned in the fields of art history, archaeology, aesthetics and philosophy. They have ensured that the visual material is broad-based geographically, historically, culturally as well as materially. 

The duration of the course is 1 year from end July to end April. It is held on Saturdays from 1-5 p.m.

For further details contact:
Address : Dr. Rashmi Poddar
Indian Aesthetics
email :