SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Barreda Monge, Frederick Henry (1973) The theory and practice of the development of art forms in South Asia from their first appearance until the historic period. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

PDF - Submitted Version
Download (109MB) | Preview


This work deals with a vast area of the Asian continent, India, as its frontiers have moved, across millenia. Beginning in very remote prehistory, in this region there developed a complex civilization whose concern with philosophical thought gave rise to very rich expression in the plastic arts. The following pages are thus an attempt to describe some of the principal features of a number of forms, over a long period of years. But only those forms which illustrate most clearly the evolution of the plastic arts are discussed in detail, others are merely mentioned in passing. This study begins with the first forms of expression in the art and thought of India, considering the influences of the environment on man, and deals with the first creations by man in prehistory. It discusses the tools (how materials and techniques developed), and early pictorial expressions in caves and rock-shelters (beginnings of composition). It is a study of form-in the civilization of the Indus Valley-in which materials, techniques and composition are analysed. The forms characteristic of this period, Harappan or "classic" art, are also to be seen in the periods before and afterwards. Outside influences at particular moments are also considered. The codification of form in the Harappan period foreshadows the canons of art of the historical periods to follow. Form may be understood through the analysis of archaeological discoveries. This work is concerned with the analysis of the aesthetic aspects of such archaeological discoveries, revealing forms Whose origins and evolution may be seen in the art of early India. There is included a collection of drawings, photographs and color slides.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:25

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item