454p., Full of Col. Plts., App., Gloss., Bib., Index, 31 cm.
Holy Madness: Portraits of Tantric Siddhas is a groundbreaking examination of the art and legends of some of the most colorful characters in South Asian and Himalayan civilizations, the great siddhas (mahasiddhas, great spiritually accomplished ones). The catalogue provides a survey of the format of mahasiddha art and the contexts and purposes for which the art was originally made. It features complete sets of paintings and sculptures--in some cases reconstituting groups that have been dispersed into different Western museum collections. More than 100 works of art are included, from Indian miniatures to contemporary photographs of ascetics, Nepalese clay sculptures, Tibetan woodblock prints, palm-leaf manuscripts, and lifesize bronze sculpture. The various works are compared with art still surviving in situ to give a broad view of this important and charismatic type of religious teacher, one that inspired generations of artists.