About the Book:
This monograph attempts to study the Art of Khajuraho from an absolutely new perspective: Architecture vis-à-vis its ornament, mainly the non-religious Devangana sculptures, including the 'Mithuna', on the basis of the Sanskrit texts. 'Mithuna' is the most debated and also the most widely misunderstood phenomenon of Indian Art. Arbitrary surmises have obscured its real meaning and purpose and have confused the issue. Too much sacred, esoteric and metaphysical significance has been attached to the Indian Art and this aspect has been explained, without any textual support, on fanciful conjectures. Study of its FORMAL aspect has been almost entirely missed. Indian Art is sacred in the sense that it is only through the religious media that it has expressed itself; otherwise, as the study of the Silpa texts, classical works of Poetry and Drama and, more specifically the works on Poetics shows it has grown and developed formally and independently of any religious injunction. The key to its understanding lies in these texts. This is a classical problem and it is with the textual support of the classical literature of the same age that the author has ventured to solve it. In essence, it is a study of Indian Aesthetics based on Sanskrit texts, about 100 of which have been quoted in original. The temples of Khajuraho have been dealt with stylistically. The work attempts to study Indian Art in general and the Art of Khajuraho in particular, in its formal aspect, over and above the much professed and generally superfluous esoteric, metaphysical and ritualistic interpretation thereof and as such it is the first work of this type.
About the Author:
Dr. R. Nath (b. 1933), Reader in the Department of History and Indian Culture, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, did his Ph.D. and D.Litt. On Mughal Architecture. He covered other facets of Medieval Architecture of India under research-fellowships of the Homi Bhabha Fellowships Council and the Indian Council of Historical Research and, in fact, he is one of the very few scholars in this field. He is author of ten scholarly and excellently produced books; seven others are in the print. Out of about 85 research papers which he has contributed to learned historical and art journals, some (published in the Annals of the B.O.R.I., Poona, Vol. LVIII-LIX; the Indian Museum Bulletin, Calcutta, Vol. X-2; the Shodh-Patrika, Udaipur, Vol. 28-2, etc.) also deal authoritatively with subjects on Ancient Indian Art and Architecture. A recent paper entitled 'A Study of the Sanskrit Texts on the Interrelationship of the Performing and Plastic Arts (with reference to the Devanganas of Khajuraho)' (Quarterly Journal of the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Bombay, Vol. VIII-2, June 1979) has been widely acclaimed. He is, thus, widening the scope of his study of Indian Architecture and exploring its subtleties at the fountain-head.
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