Iconographic Perplexities & Artistic Innovations in Representation of Sikh Guru’s Ménage

  • Dr. Manavpreet Kaur Arora


The juxtaposition of text and image is an age old artistic tradition known to us through the extant corpus of manuscripts- a practice that has preserved various facets of our social, cultural, religious, political and economic past. Apart from enlightening us with its elevating content, the wealth of visual vocabulary in Adi Granth reveals to us, a continuity of the established repertoire of imagery and a growing need for artistic innovation in the genre of Sikh manuscript painting.

Beholding a visual memory of the ten Sikh Gurus, who have contributed to the development of the Sikh faith, one is tempted to analyse the dynamics behind their portrayal. This paper aims to understand the perplexities of their iconographical representation and artistic innovations in the context of their respective families. It is a qualitative research wherein visual analysis is based on the case study method. The findings suggest that the artists have creatively depicted them in the company of their family members taking literary references from their life history and their teachings mentioned in the Holy Scripture; re-establishing their belief through a visual format.