This is the fourth book on Rock Art published by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts under its Adi Drsya Programme.
The present study is based on a thorough survey of painted shelters of Kerala, the southern most region of India. Rock Art samples from Kerala are unique. The book brings to light a distinct style in Rock Art tradition, especially in terms of engraved geometric motifs.
Yashodhar Mathpal's present work does not suggest theoretical propositions and obviously it is not the objective of this monograph to create a new hypothesis. Being an artist himself, his identification and diligent and systematic recording of the rock art sites in this volume is a welcome contribution towards the understand the comprehension of the primal vision as seen in the distinctive and yet universal representation of art in Kerala. The tabulation of motifs and other details are methodically recorded. Rock art material, along with ethnographical evidence, suggests a chose dynamic relationship between man and nature; the line and style of drawings of plants, animals and abstract motifs is an indication of this relationship.
The book will be of great help to researchers who wish to pursue further work in the area.
About the Author:
Yashodhar Mathpal (b. 1939) is an archaeologist and has specialized in rock art. He has discovered rock art sites and made comprehensive studies of the paintings at Bhimbetka and of Shamla Hills in Madhya Pradesh. He also participated in excavation of rock art sites in Bhimbetka. Himself an artist, he reproduced a large number of rock art samples from Bhimbetka at the initial stage. Later on, having spend several years studying and surveying rock art of Central Himalayas specially in and around Bhimtal he documented amazing varieties of rock art samples. He also traveled in Kerala and with his usual knack copied rock art paintings and brushings.
Dr. Mathpal, a first class Masters Degree holder in Art and a Ph.D., published several scientific papers and monographs on rock art specially concerning his work in Bhimbetka. He also participated in Rock Art Congress held in Australia in 1991 and presented a paper and later on in New Delhi in 1993.
He is a district convenor of INTACH at Bhimtal and is closely associated with the Rock Art Programme of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. He has also established a museum of Folk Culture at Bhimtal in Kumaon region.
List of Illustrations
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