Far Away Books

Coomaraswamy, Christian and Non-Western Philosophy of Art


The Christian & Non- Western Philosophy of Art
by Ananda K. Coomaraswamy


Available Formats:

—Read Online

—Paperback (6 x 9, 226 pages)


“The artist is not a special kind of man,” Coomaraswamy famously wrote, “but every man is a special kind of artist.” Coomaraswamy's nonmodern philosophy of art is intrinsically critical, and culturally perennial.[1]


About the Author

Ananda K. Coomaraswamy (1877–1947) was an influential art historian, theorist, and critic.[2] He “first effectively rediscovered Rajput painting as a distinct entity, publishing it and giving it its name.”[3]

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  1. Compare to recent scholarship by Wouter J. Hanegraaff, in Esotericism and the Academy: Rejected Knowledge in Western Culture. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
  2. On Coomaraswamy's defining influence on John Cage, for example, see David W. Patterson, “The Picture That Is Not in the Colors: Cage, Coomaraswamy, and the Impact of India,” in John Cage: Music, Philosophy, and Intention, 1933–1950. New York: Routledge, 2002. Coomaraswamy's “Every man is a special kind of artist” was echoed by Joseph Beuys in his own famous slogan, “Everyone is an artist.”
  3. William Dalrymple, New York Review of Books, November 24, 2016.

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