Artistic and cultural values in the churches of Diu: Reflections on architecture, iconography, and artistic processes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

As examples of the interpretative capacity, ingenuity, and art of local carvers, Indo-Portuguese altarpieces show how religious-cultural differences could be reenacted to create new and very particular forms that enriched Indo-Portuguese artistic production. The Northern Province played an important role in the economy of Portuguese India from the sixteenth century until at least the eighteenth century. Although Diu was geographically distant from Goa, the capital of the State of India, and from Bassein, the nearest artistic production center, the artistic panorama in Diu’s churches nevertheless developed to a remarkable extent, and its many hybrid depictions bear witness to artistic-cultural exchanges. Ornamental figurative elements and architectural elements of Portuguese origin were refashioned using the language of local art and its symbols of devotion. In the carvings executed by local artisans, the symbols of local religions were transposed into the Christian decorative grammar with the aim of explaining, through images, the gospel of a new religion to devotees of a religion rooted in centuries of history, resulting in artistic-cultural hybridity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-272
Number of pages18
JournalAsian Review of World Histories
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Altarpieces
  • Cultural exchanges
  • Hybridity
  • Iconography
  • Indo-portuguese

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