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Art and Architecture in Medieval India

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Item Code: BAE396
Publisher: B.R. Publishing Corporation
Author: Saktipada Datta
Language: English
Edition: 2023
ISBN: 9788176466189
Pages: 89 (Throughout B/w Illustrations)
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 260 gm
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Book Description
About The Book

This book, according to author, is an humble attempt to identify the schools of art and architecture reflected in the temples, mosques and mausoleums and their synthesis in the process in India in the perspective of historical evolution of constructional art and technology during the different regimes in various parts of the country in the medieval age as accepted by historians. The pictorial presentation of the relics is perhaps more important than the textual content of the book that attempts to analyse the cultural contents of the buildings. It shows how the personal interest of the ruling hierarchy has influenced the progress of construction of the buildings referred to, and the mingling of various cultures in them through the mobility of artisans and masons as well as the passion and perception of the ruling gentry. It underscores how these pieces of art have transcended the religious beliefs and aspirations almost unconsciously on the part of the promoters themselves.

About the Author

Being all through a student of Calcutta University since Matriculation, the author completed his post-graduation in 1958 and joined college service in 1959. While in service, he obtained his Ph.D degree in 1971. He published a large number of research papers in the Economic Notebook of renowned Newspapers as well as Economic Journals. When the categorisation of college teachers was introduced by the UGC for the first time in 1986, he was promoted to the post of Reader. He would become a Professor but there is no post of Professor in the Non- Government colleges in W. B. Being committed to be a teacher and researcher, he did not accept the post of Principal of a college. He underwent an orientation course as Academic Counsellor in the Eastern Regional Centre in Calcutta of the Indira Gandhi National Open University in 1991 and has been continuing since then in that capacity (counseling in postgraduate level). He emulates the spirit, (in his opinion, as a humble student), of Marxism that has imbibed in his think- reservoir an outlook of treating Social Science and explaining social phenomena in its totality embracing Political Economy, Political Philosophy, History and -Sociology, and more importantly, from the standpoint of a particular philosophy. While expressing his position in regard to the same in the words of Karl Marx himself, "All I know is that I am not a Marxist" in the same sense as the great philosopher, obviously with far greater humility. On philosophical plane, the author is an existentialist in individual life perception and considers human freedom as sacrosanct above everything else, and naturally an anti- conventionalist and non-conformist in his outlook of life. This piece of work is rather a diversion for relief in his primary quest of analysis of realistic economics.


It is really a privilege to have been asked to write a brief point of entry into this rich exploration of art and architecture in the medieval India. The title of the book Art and Architecture in Medieval India speaks for itself.

It is a pleasant surprise that the author who has kept himself busy throughout his academic career, teaching for nearly four decades subjects like economics and commerce and authored Several books on applied economics-in fact he retired from the college service as Reader in the Department of Commerce, could find time to enliven his interest in plastic arts which is just opposed to such mundane world of economics that stands for the class lecture.

My acquaintance with Dr. Datta is of long standing and I know if he lays his hand on any subject he would elaborate it with immaculate perfection having the strength of arduous academic preparation.

Everyone knows the art and architecture in the days of Turko-Afghan and Mughal period, i.e., the medieval age of India certainly did not appear from nothing. It has a long uninterrupted history of developments in the realm of art and architecture which saw its beginning from the days of Harappan civilisation. Therefore it would be foolhardy to search the influence only of a particular religion on our architectural designs whether they are temples of mosques. It is a striking factor that the whole conception was based on secular ideas.

Gupta period is known in the history as the period of Brahminical ascendancy but in the field of art and architecture one could easily discern the influence of Buddhist culture. Similarly, the Gandhara school of the Kushan period was greatly influenced by Roman art.

One should remember much of the Torans or public gateways built in the ancient times were destreoyed during Islamic invasions but at the same time, some remodeled and incorporated into structures utilised by Muslim rulers.

Such is the great tradition of our history of art and architecture and the medieval age is a very part of that proud tradition.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages

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