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Postgraduate Research

Doria Tichit, studied Archaeology and Art History at the University Paris-IV Sorbonne. After passing a first degree in History of Art and a bachelors degree in Archaeology, she specialized in Indian Art, graduating with distinctions in both my MA and Mphil degrees. In parallel with her research for her masters degree, she was registered at the University Paris III - Sorbonne Nouvelle for the bachelors degree in Indian Studies, in order to learn Sanskrit. Her MPhil research work was on the artistic production of the Hoysala dynasty, throwing into relief the interaction between political, religious and artistic fields. Her PhD 'The Udayeshvara Temple, Udayapur: Architecture and Iconography of an 11th century Temple in Central India' completed at Cardiff University under the supervision of Prof Adam Hardy, was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of the project 'The Indian Temple: Production, Place, Patronage' - a collaboration between Cardiff University, the School of Oriental and African Studies and the British Museum. Her thesis explored the Udayeshvara Temple, from a historical, architectural and iconographic perspective. It investigated the relationships between power and art, as well as the synergy between sculpture and architecture in the creation of a place dedicated to meeting with the divine.

Since 2011 Doria has lectured for the Diploma in Asian Art course at SOAS, for the semester and summer courses at Sotheby's Institute of Art, for the World Arts and Artefacts programme at Birkbeck College, and for Richmond University. Her lectures have covered the artistic production of the Indian sub-continent from the third millennium BCE to the 17th century CE. She has also given lectures on Southeast Asia, cultural heritage of indigenous Indian minorities, Indian folk art.

She is currently investigating the artistic tradition in the Malnad region of western Karnataka in the 15th and 17th centuries thanks to the Luigi and Laura Dallapiccola Foundation. She is also working with the painter and film-maker Velu Viswanadan in order to write a catalogue raisonné of his work, commissioned by the Art Gallery Pascaline Mulliez.

Publications

  • Doria Tichit, 2012, "Le programme iconographique du temple d'Udayeśvara à Udayapur, Madhya Pradesh, XIe siècle", Arts Asiatiques, 67, pp. 3-18

Forthcoming:

  • Book review of Gérard Colas, Penser l'icône en Inde Ancienne for the Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
  • 'A Royal Temple: Udayeśvara temple at Udayapur' in Temple, Village, Water and City: The Heart of India and the Paramaras
  • Four articles on Hindu Art for Pulse Magazine - magazine of Contemporary Indian Music and Dance magazine.

The Udayeśvara Temple, Udayapur:
Architecture and Iconography of an 11th century Temple in Central India

Abstract of PhD Thesis (completed 2011)

This thesis is dedicated to the analysis of the Udayeśvara temple built at Udayapur (Vidisha district, Madhya Pradesh) in the second half of the 11th century. Despite being well-known, in a good state of conservation, connected to a royal figure, being one of the earliest Bhūmija temples surviving in its entirety and displaying an abundance of sculpture, the temple has not been the object of a monograph or detailed study.

The present work aims to reveal the significance of the Udayeśvara temple in the history of the Paramāra dynasty, architecturally and sculpturally. The establishment of the historical backdrop is necessary to understand the place occupied by the temple within the trajectory of the Paramāra dynasty and in the artistic production of the time. The construction of the Udayeśvara temple happened at a troubled time for the dynasty, the downfall of its greatest leader Bhoja (1000-1055) having led the kingdom into chaos. The temple was consecrated under the reign of King Udayāditya (c.1070-1093) who tried to orchestrate the re-establishment of the prestige of the dynasty, and therefore it possibly reflects political aspirations.

The frame established, the analysis of the temple as an artefact/object follows. The analysis of the architecture of the temple aims to provide a comprehensive description of the structure and composition. The Udayeśvara temple belongs to the Bhūmija mode, a mode which is one of the latest major architectural evolutions of the Nāgara architecture. Consequently, in the pursuit of giving a detailed presentation of the Udayeśvara temple, the thesis explores the emergence and the development of the Bhūmija mode across India, with a focus on Bhūmija temples erected in Malwa and the adjoining regions during the 11th and 12th centuries. The deconstruction of these temples, and comparisons leads to an appreciation of the different interpretations of the mode. Each temple is a unique creation; identification of the different influences occurring within a structure allows the Udayeśvara temple to be placed within the Bhūmija network and the architectural evolution. The Udayeśvara temple reveals itself to be particularly interesting for the investigation and appreciation of artistic mutations, displaying some features belonging to a tradition well established at the time of its construction, and others that are innovative, revealing great ingenuity in the renewal of architectural forms.

The sculpture of the Udayeśvara temple has suffered an ever greater lack of attention, probably overshadowed by the singularity of its architecture. This study aims to redress this injustice by demonstrating the complexity of the iconographic programme of the temple. Despite first impressions of conformity to the iconography of the 10th and 11th centuries, the identification of the divine population inhabiting the temple throws light on some interesting iconographic features and on the treatment and importance given to certain forms. Moreover, exploration of the relationship between the figures reveals that the iconographic programme results from a refined elaboration aiming to accompany the devotees in their worship. The analysis of the architecture and the sculpture has led to the consideration of their interaction: both work together to create a favourable place for worship.