Look Inside

Sculptural Traditions of Rajasthan (C.A. 800-1000 A.D.)

FREE Delivery
Express Shipping
(20% off)
Express Shipping: Guaranteed Dispatch in 24 hours
Delivery Ships in 1-3 days
Item Code: UAE099
Author: Neelima Vashishtha
Publisher: Publication Scheme, Jaipur
Language: English
Edition: 1989
ISBN: 8185263566
Pages: 272 (Throughout B/w Illustrations
Other Details 11.50 X 9.00 inch
Weight 1.33 kg
Book Description
About the Book
The present work is an exhaustive study of the iconographical development in the sculptures of the temples of Rajasthan built during the 9th and 10th centuries A.D. It will be of interest to art historians, critics and anyone concerned with Indian art and sculpture.

This work deals with the sculptural traditions of the Brahmanic sculptures and relates them to its historical and religious back- ground. A detailed analysis of the iconography has been made keeping in mind the textual canons of iconography, the artistic characteristics and sculptural traditions of the period of study. The images of deities are also correlated with the contemporary literature and epigraphy.

The study reveals that the sculptural traditions of style of the Art of Rajasthan were inspired and influenced by the later Gupta traditions and though a synthesis of Gupta art is evident, an under- lying indigenous strain is also visible. The book shows that the sculptural art of Rajasthan is replete with rhythm, symmetry, decorative beauty and perfect handling of figurative, decorative and animal motifs.

About the Author
Dr Neelima Vashishtha (b.1941) obtained her Masters' Degree in Sanskrit from the Banaras Hindu University and in Drawing and Painting from the Vikram University. She was awarded the Tagore Research Fellowship by the University of Rajasthan to work on the "Traditions of the Post-Gupta Art in Sculpture with special reference to the temples of Rajasthan, Ca. 800-1000 A.D., for which the degree of Ph D . was conferred on her by the University in 1977.

She is presently working as Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Rajasthan, and Jaipur. She has to her credit a number of research papers published in several journals and has participated in various seminars & conferences.

The modern historiography of Indian art began with the descriptive survey of monuments by archaeologists and the application of concepts and canons based on the history of Western art by historians like Fergusson and V. Smith. With Havel, Coomaraswamy and V. S. Agrawala began a new kind of art history which gave due attention to the symbology and the characteristic idiom of Indian art traditions. It recognized that art is not merely an artifice to please the senses but a language which speaks to the mind and heart. I~ have been said that the conception of beauty in the West moved from the ancient ideal of the perfection of generic or universal form. to the modern ideal of the characteristic expressiveness of individual form. In India form or rapa was valued not so much for its representation of external Nature as for its capacity to reveal inner Nature or bhava. The language of art is designed to articulate the permanent moods of the soul, and its enjoyment is ultimately nothing but a species of self-realization mediated by the felt images of experience. This remains the essential conception of art in the Indian tradition even though its continental history includes a vast variety of different opinions and an equally varied achievement. The fact that the greater part of ancient Indian art has been lost without a trace makes any historical generalization even more difficult. Nevertheless, it remains true that we must not think of temples; images and pictures as things, an artificial world parallel to the natural one, but as representations of ideas, an expression of the inner world. The appreciation of this inner world can only come through the painstaking study of the Indian cultural tradition. The understanding of the art object can never be reduced to its mere sensuous perception, nor can this understanding come simply in terms of universal principles gleaned from any or every culture. It necessarily requires a study of the ideas, conventions and norms of taste characteristic of some cultural tradition or epoch.

Since the work of Coomaraswamy so much has come to be widely recognized, no one would say now that the history of Indian art is one of decay and that its periods of creativity were simply periods of imitation. Nevertheless, the task of studying the development of Indian art in the background of cultural changes is a vast and challenging one. The present work undertakes the analysis of sculptural development in Rajasthan from A.D. 800 to A.D. 1000.

In particular it studies the cult background of images and seeks "to correlate the abstract ideals and their concrete plastic forms in the wider context" of historical and cultural development. It describes the building of temples and the variation of themes according to the cults - Vaisnava, Saiva, Sakta, Saura. Gupta sculptural tradition developed and reached high perfection in this period, declining later by becoming stiff and stereotyped.

Much of Rajasthan is said to have been included then in the sphere of Gurjaradesa and it was the age of a struggle for supremacy between the Imperial Pratiharas and the Rashtrakutas. The Gurjara-Pratiharas, the Chahamanas and the Guhilaputras ruled the different parts of Rajasthan. Different cults flourished together peacefully and splendid temples were built in different parts of the region. Temples of Osia and Kiradu, Chittorgarh and Ahaq, Jhalarapatan and Badoll, Abaneri and Paranagar may be mentioned as illustration.

From the Gupta period the Smarta-Pauranika religion had grown up. This represented a sea-change from the ancient Vedic religion. The deity was now fully humanized and the Pauranika myths became the basis for representing its diverse aspects. Instead of the older ritual new forms of worship were evolved. Vedic religion had been exclusive. ,The new Smarta-Pauranika cults were available to all sections of society. God came to be conceived above all as a person with whom a personal relationship of Bhakti was possible.

This work attempts to study the sculptural traditions of the temples of Rajasthan roughly from ca. 800 A.D. to 1000 A.D. Based on contemporary sources and field work it traces illustrative examples up to the 12th century A.D. These sculptural traditions have been studied in the light of the development of the religious cults in different parts of Rajasthan. In order to understand them, sculpture has been interpreted here as a relationship between abstract ideals and their concrete symbols. Man has always used images to bring the invisible realm of the spiritual and divine beings within the range of perception. He has made symbols and cult images in earthly substances as permanent as stone and has tried to see the divine power in them. Besides, for the proper appreciation of the sculptural traditions of a particular period, the historical and religious background of that epoch has been reviewed. In view of this, an attempt has been made to study and correlate the abstract ideals and their concrete plastic form in the wider context of the historical and cultural background and general traditions which were prevalent in India at that time. This approach has also helped in examining the regional and sub-regional variations in sculptures despite their representation according to the iconographic and Pauranic texts. For the study of the abstract ideals which have formulated the, sculpture, the iconographic, Pauranic, literary and epigraphically sources of the early and contemporary periods have been studied.

This work has been divided into eight chapters. The first chapter examines the influence of the geographical, historical and religious conditions on the sculptures and temple building activities in different parts of Rajasthan. The second chapter describes the main temple sites which developed as a result of many of these factors. Following this, the work can be divided into two major parts. The first starts with chapter third and ends with chapter seventh where the development of different religious cults and their influence on sculptural representation have been discussed. Chapter eighth comprises the second part. It tackles the general principles which were followed in sculptural representation. It is interesting to note that despite the varied religious themes, there is a unity in the sculptural decorations of the temples.

From the beginning of the 20th century a number of scholars and archaeologists have explored and published reports on the sculptural wealth of Rajasthan. Besides, the epigraphically records found from the temples have also been published for purposes of tracing the genealogies of the rulers. However, these publications are isolated and have unduly ignored the correlation of the sculptural traditions with the contemporary religious, literary and historical traditions of India. The present work endeavors to fill in this gap.

The sculptural traditions of ca. 800 - 1000 A.D., present a continuity of the Gupta period with the main difference that they are small in size, unusual in elaboration and intricate in carvings. At the end of the 4th century A.D., the greater part of Rajasthan was within the confines of the Gupta Empire. The Gupta Empire came to an end but its sculptural traditions persisted in Rajasthan up to the 10th century A.D., with some local variations. This is evident in the temple sites at Osia, Abanerl, Alwar, Udaipur, Badoli, etc. In Rajasthan, the sculptural traditions reached its apogee during ca. 800 - 1000 A.D., though the stylistic changes can be traced in them up to the 12th century A. D. The period from 11th century A.D., onwards represents a decay in sculpture having become more stiff and stereotyped. as compared to that of ca. 800 - 1000 A.D.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Q. What locations do you deliver to ?
    A. Exotic India delivers orders to all countries having diplomatic relations with India.
  • Q. Do you offer free shipping ?
    A. Exotic India offers free shipping on all orders of value of $30 USD or more.
  • Q. Can I return the book?
    A. All returns must be postmarked within seven (7) days of the delivery date. All returned items must be in new and unused condition, with all original tags and labels attached. To know more please view our return policy
  • Q. Do you offer express shipping ?
    A. Yes, we do have a chargeable express shipping facility available. You can select express shipping while checking out on the website.
  • Q. I accidentally entered wrong delivery address, can I change the address ?
    A. Delivery addresses can only be changed only incase the order has not been shipped yet. Incase of an address change, you can reach us at help@exoticindia.com
  • Q. How do I track my order ?
    A. You can track your orders simply entering your order number through here or through your past orders if you are signed in on the website.
  • Q. How can I cancel an order ?
    A. An order can only be cancelled if it has not been shipped. To cancel an order, kindly reach out to us through help@exoticindia.com.
Add a review
Have A Question

For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy

Book Categories