Ajanta : history and development. Vol. IV, Painting, by Walter M. Spink

By Walter M. Spink

Ajanta:Year via yr is deliberate as a biography of this amazing web site, beginning with the earliest caves, relationship from a few thousand years, to its startling renaissance within the short interval among nearly 462 and 480. targeting the excavations of the later interval, in the course of the reign of the Vakataka emperor Harisena, it makes an attempt to teach how, after a shocking hole of a few 300 years, Ajanta’s proud and pious courtly buyers and its more and more devoted workmen created not just the best however the most modern monument of India’s Golden Age. approximately 300 illustrations, in colour and black and white, exhibit the exuberant flowering of Ajanta and comparable Vakataka monuments, in addition to the way in their unexpected loss of life

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Indeed, in a few cases the planners, now dissatisfied with the already old-fashioned single cells, converted them to the more complex forms by cutting the new pillared fronts out of their front walls. This transformation is usually revealed by the fact that the new pillars are thinner than expected, since early front cell walls (as opposed to late ones) were relatively thin. It was in this busy year, 466, that a revolution occurred at the site; for it was in this year that the startling concept of adding shrines to the viharas—of in fact converting the viharas into shrines—had its dramatic impact on the site.

It is clear from the manner in which the rock has been reamed out in the grosser excavation work—where masses of rock were cut away as major areas were opened up—that two men were involved in such cutting, just as is sometimes done today. One worker would hold a very large pointed chisel and the other would rhythmically bring a sledge down upon it; the downward point by point path of the chisel in great arcing swathes is easily seen in areas that happen to have been left unfinished. Far less hazardous for the hands was the work done with chisels held by a single person.

5 ribs, as do the relevant porch pillars of Cave 23. 5 In the latest caves, such as Cave 24 (see plan), cells would be started as soon as the excavators had opened up the aisle space. 463/464/465 early developments and decisions 19 cells—which were not developed until 468—near the front of the caves. That is, they were added to the developing cave in that year, well after the forward portions of the caves had already been roughed out; indeed even the rear parts of the cave would have been underway at the time that these cells were added.

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