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Sculpture, Painting, Terracottas, Performing Arts and Architecture: History of Ancient India (Vol-8)

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Item Code: UBI149
Author: Dilip K. Chakrabarti
Publisher: Aryan Books International
Language: English
Edition: 2020
ISBN: 9788173054907
Pages: 785 (Throughout B/W Illustrations)
Other Details 11.50 X 9.00 inch
Weight 2.35 kg
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Book Description
About The Book

The present volume provides a thorough and meticulous introduction to India's sculpture, painting, terracottas, performing arts and architecture. In each case the coverage is extensive, supported by detailed references and should lead to further research and studies. What we would like to emphasize is that the volume does not claim to be even a reasonably exhaustive survey and analysis of the total range of ancient Indian data on art and architecture, but what it has certainly tried to convey is the depth and scale of all such artistic endeavours in the subcontinent. Ancient art occurs all over, from the heights of Ladakh and the jungles of Arunachal to the remote sea-shores of east, west and south India. Even the deserts of Rajasthan have their share of breathtaking temples and sculptures. Some terracottas from the Bengal delta are as sensuous as some Begram ivories from Afghanistan. The chronology of all these art-assemblages varies and even their quantity varies from area to area. The present volume offers a systematic evaluation of all the regional contexts along with the incorporation of new data and explanations in the case of early historic urbanism. This is especially true in the case of Mauryan and Sunga art.

About the Author

Dilip K. Chakrabarti is Emeritus Professor of South Asian Archaeology at Cambridge University. His recent publications include The Borderlands and Boundaries of the Indian Subcontinent: Baluchistan to the Patkai Range and Arakan Yoma (2018) and Ancient Rajasthan: Research Developments, Epigraphic Evidence on Political Power Centres and Historical Perspectives (2019).


India is presently undergoing a multidimensional renaissance. Tremendous political, social, economic and demographic changes are underway. In the last few years, there has been a great deal of interest the world over in rising India. People are curious what India's rise means to the world. More important, people want to understand what fresh ideas India brings to the high table. It is therefore essential that Indian scholars should explain India to the world. One way to do so effectively is to understand what true India is like. There is no proper appreciation of India's history and culture even among Indians, let alone the foreigners. I would like to quote from the foreword written by Shri Ajit Doval to the earlier volumes of this series: "One can never understand a society, civilization or a nation unless its past is understood and interpreted correctly. Both by design and default, India's past has been mutated, events arbitrarily selected disproportionate to their real historic import and interpreted to substantiate a preconceived hypotheses. When myth masquerades as reality, then reality becomes the casualty".


The history of ancient India's sculptural tradition is initially beset with a clear absence of any stone-cutting tradition between the end of the Indus civilization and the beginning of the Mauryan periods, Assuming that the Indus civilization continued in certain areas up to c.1200/c.1300 BC, this is a gap of about a thousand years, and it is because of this that some scholars have sought rather improbable parallels between the fluted and architecturally integrated pillars of the Achaemenid capital Persepolis and the simple monolithic and free-standing pillars of the Mauryan India. The gap is inexplicable because at Dholavira there are examples of stone pillars formed and polished both in segments and in monolithic forms. In the first case the pillar was apparently formed by arranging one heavy, polished and round stone disc over another, and in the second case, one notes somewhat thin and short monolithic free- standing specimens with mushroom-like (or phallic, if one prefers) tops. The excavated remains of Dholavira still retain two clear in situ examples of this second variety. Of the first variety there are a few examples of the polished heavy discs which, when arranged one over another, served the purpose of pillars. The postulate of the Achaemenid inspiration of Mauryan pillars falls through primarily because the latter were free-standing columns and not parts of an architectural complex as the Achaemenid specimens were.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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