Theses Doctoral

Hipped and Gabled: Similitude and Vicissitude in Kerala's Sacred Art and Architecture

Menon, Arathi

On the southwestern coast of India, Kerala, with its fortuitous position in the Indian ocean trade network, has served as a beacon for merchant ships since antiquity. As early as the ninth-century, Kerala’s rulers – the Cēras (ca. 800 – 1124) and merchant polities developed a symbiotic relationship that allowed a wealth of diplomatic privileges for traders. Religious leaders who travelled with merchants are named as the benefactors of agreements between the Cēras and the guilds. This dissertation will show that a corollary of this unique trade policy was the canonization of a shared architectural and artistic vocabulary in the region’s religious monuments. Individual chapters dedicated to the architectural style of temples, churches, synagogues, and mosques will examine this syncretism and the idiomatic mode of sacred art and architecture that came to define the Kerala style.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Art History and Archaeology
Thesis Advisors
Dehejia, Vidya J.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
January 10, 2019