Works on Indian art mainly deal with stone sculptures although metal sculptures offer a fascinating subject. An attempt has been made here to make an exhaustive study of the metal icons. In the Indian sub-continent metal icons were mostly produced in an alloy which is known as bronze though images in ashta dhatu (an alloy of eight metals), brass, copper, silver and gold are also found. The casting process is called Madhuchchhistavidhanam or lost-wax method. While making an aesthetic appraisal of the art products in different corners of the country the socio-economic and religious background has been studied in proper perspective.
In its Chapter I the beginning and development of sculptural art in metal has been studied. How the earlier art form transformed in a different political and social set up in the formation of regional Schools of Art has been narrated with suitable illustrations.
A Study of Iconography has been made in Chapter II. This subject has been given special significance because students of Indian iconography often face hardship to understand the subject as most of the books are meant for advanced scholars. Here a stress has been given to make the subject easily accessible.
In Chapter III an elaborate discussion has been made in regard to the casting methods quoting original sources.
The book is illustrated by ninety two plates and it is further enriched by a glossary of technical terms and a bibliography.
About the Author:
Bimal Bandyopadhyay (b. 1948) was a student of the Government Sanskrit College and Presidency College, Calcutta. He got Honours degree in Ancient Indian and World History from the University of Calcutta in 1967 having stood first and winning gold medal. He was subsequently awarded a National Scholarship for continuing higher studies in Ancient Indian History and Culture and got the Master's degree in 1969 from the same University securing high marks, in the Fine Arts group. He was awarded the Ph.D degree in 1969 for his work on "Early Metal Sculptures of Eastern India". He further specialized in Field Archaeology and got the Post Graduate Diploma in Archaeology from the School of Archaeology, New Delhi in 1977. He took part in various important excavations in Eastern India.
At present, he is working in the Archaeological Survey of India in the capacity of a Deputy Superintending Archaeologist. His previous publications include "Metal Sculptures of Eastern India" which has been widely acclaimed by scholars.
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