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The Influence of Indian Culture, Arts, and Aesthetics on the Work of George Keyt

Author:

W.M.P. Sudarshana Bandara

Department of Fine Arts, Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya, LK
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Abstract

George Perceivel Keyt (1901-1993) who belonged to the ’43 Group of Sri Lankan Artists was one of the most gifted, distinguished, and universal of contemporary Sri Lankan painters of the 20th Century, well known both in the East and the West. His work consists of over 12,000 paintings and sketches. This study examines the personal record of George Keyt and the socio cultural context of his painting career in order to identify his exposure to the Indian culture and aesthetics. This study further explores Bharatamuni’s rasa concept as an aesthetic concept and a theoretical basis that could accommodate all his paintings, at the levels of analysis and appreciation. Finally, it elaborates the influence of Indian culture, art, and aesthetic concepts, especially the rasa concept, as reflected in the works of George Keyt and concludes with evidence that the rasa concept could be used as a theoretical basis in analyzing his work.  So far, art critics, historians and archeologists, such as Sunil Goonasekera, Nihal Rodrigo, Navil Weerarathna, Senaka Bandaranayake, and Martin Russell, have primarily discussed the influence of modern western art forms on the works of George Keyt. While acknowledging such influence on Keyt’s work, this study explores the extent to which the Indian culture, art, and aesthetic concepts have shaped his paintings. The study also formulates a theoretical basis that explains Keyt’s approach to art.

How to Cite: Bandara, W.M.P.S., 2018. The Influence of Indian Culture, Arts, and Aesthetics on the Work of George Keyt. Sri Lanka Journal of the Humanities, 41(1-2), pp.46–63. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljh.v41i1-2.7244
Published on 15 Mar 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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