Indoislamica

art and rare books relating to India, Central Asia and the Islamic world

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Modern Indian Art

Shamsa geometry.

Chowdry, Anita.

Painted, gold and silver on indigo dyed paper (natural pigments). 370 mm x 370 mm (14.5 x 14.5 ins). 2008

A study in geometry. Ruled lines of pure gold and silver on indigo-dyed paper build up a twelve pointed star which grows exponentially from the centre.

The word 'Shamsa' derives from the Arabic word for the sun. By the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries it became a customary device for the opening pages of royal manuscripts in Safavid Iran and Mughal India. Traditionally the centre is left as a plain gold disc, representing the singularity from which all emerges.

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