Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Ashmolean − Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Indian Art in the Ashmolean Museum

A catalogue of the Ashmolean’s collection of Indian art by J. C. Harle and Andrew Topsfield (published Oxford, 1987).

Indian Art in the Ashmolean Museum by J. C. Harle and Andrew Topsfield


The Ashmolean Museum’s holdings of Indian art are the most extensive in this country after the great London collections of the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, but they have not been widely known hitherto except through the publication of such famous masterpieces as the Tamluk terracotta [see EAX.201] or Abu’l Hasan’s drawing after Dürer [see EA1978.2597]. Our purpose in selecting objects for description in this handbook has been to provide an illustrated survey for visitors to the Museum’s Indian galleries, reflecting the range and particular strengths of the collection, while also incorporating information and discussion of interest to scholars.

We are greatly indebted to Mr. Neil Kreitman for generous funding without which this book could not have been produced in anything like its present form. We also wish to thank many colleagues who assisted our work, including: Dr. F.R. Allchin, Dr. Mildred Archer, Mr. Douglas Barrett, Dr. G. Bhattacharya, Shri Lakshman Bhojak (L.D. Institute of Indology, Ahmedabad), Professor P. Chandra, Mr. M.A. Dhaky, Mr. Simon Digby, Mr. Toby Falk, Ms. Tapati Guhathakurta, Dr O.R. Impey, Mr. Jonathan Katz, Dr. Simon Lawson, Professor T.S. Maxwell, Dr. Partha Mitter, Miss Veronica Murphy, Mr. Michael O’Keefe, Dr. M.S. Nagaraja Rao, Mr. Robert Skelton, Dr. John D. Smith, Miss Susan Stronge, Mr. Gerald Taylor, Miss Betty Tyres.

Miss Catherine Mortimer of the Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, Oxford, made the metal analyses by X-ray fluorescence (XRF), Mrs. Geraldine Beasley of the Museum’s staff undertook the photography, Mr. Bruce Graham helped with revision and editing and checked the inscriptions, and Miss Nora Addison typed the manuscript.


For the general development of Indian art and culture, the following are suggested:


D. Barrett and B. Gray, Indian Painting, repr. London, 1978.


A.L. Basham, The wonder that was India, London, 3rd rev. ed; (paperback) 1985


B. Gray ed., The Arts of India, Phaidon, Oxford, 1981.


J.C. Harle, The Art and Architecture of the Indian Sub-Continent, London, 1986.


S.L. Huntingdon, The Art of Ancient India: Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, New York etc., 1985.


Object information may not accurately reflect the actual contents of the original publication, since our online objects contain current information held in our collections database. Click on 'buy this publication' to purchase printed versions of our online publications, where available, or contact the Jameel Study Centre to arrange access to books on our collections that are now out of print.

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