Ajanta Paintings

Paintings of Ajanta Caves(2nd century BC to 6th century AD),[object Object],S. Swaminathan,[object Object],(sswami99@gmail.com),[object Object]
Introduction,[object Object]
Ajanta is a great art treasure.,[object Object],They contain some exquisite sculptures, ,[object Object],	and more importantly, ,[object Object],	paintings of unrivalled beauty. ,[object Object],Its caves are a fine example of ,[object Object],	rock-cut architecture.,[object Object]
from early phase of the pre-Christian era,,[object Object],In these caves can be seen the development of Art,[object Object],reaching classical perfection,,[object Object],falling off into mannerism,[object Object],and then to baroque ornamentation,[object Object],and, finally, lapsing into artistic decline,[object Object]
Ajanta is a storehouse of information ,[object Object],about the period:,[object Object],costumes,,[object Object],textile design,,[object Object],Jewellery,,[object Object],musical heritage,,[object Object],social order,,[object Object],court etiquette,,[object Object],ideas of beauty and morality,,[object Object],customs and ,[object Object],its sense of wit.,[object Object]
The paintings tell us about ,[object Object],		the technical aspects of their art: ,[object Object],preparation of the ground,,[object Object],execution of the painting itself,,[object Object],with sense of perspective, space division, ,[object Object],colour-overlay, ,[object Object],preparation of the pigments,,[object Object],harnessing of the visual and tactile senses,,[object Object],pacing of the narrative.,[object Object]
The spirit of Ajanta influenced,[object Object],the religious art ,[object Object],of the whole of Asia,[object Object],The Ajanta paintings are the earliest 	surviving paintings of India, ,[object Object],religious or secular,[object Object]
The Indian artist, while depicting Buddhist themes, did not feel the need to make ,[object Object],a translation from foreign to familiar terms,[object Object],In fact, the Ajanta painting tradition is truly ,[object Object],	an indigenous religious art tradition. ,[object Object],The Buddha and His disciples were Indians. ,[object Object]
Location of Ajanta,[object Object]
The caves of Ajanta are situated,[object Object],in the district of Aurangabad,[object Object],in the state of Maharashtra. ,[object Object],Ajanta is about 100 km from Aurangabad and ,[object Object],about 60 km from Jalgaon.,[object Object],An extended stay at Aurangabad ,[object Object],	would be rewarding, ,[object Object],	as the equally important ,[object Object],		monuments of Ellora are ,[object Object],	only about 30 km away.,[object Object]
The possible explanation for,[object Object],the monastic establishment at Ajanta ,[object Object],is its proximity to the ancient trade routes.,[object Object]
Ajanta,[object Object],Aurangabad,[object Object],Mumbai,[object Object],It is about 100 km from Aurangabad,[object Object]
Mumbai,[object Object]
Period of Excavation,[object Object]
First Phase,[object Object],Hinayana period (2nd - 1st centuries BC),[object Object],The earliest caves (Nos. 8, 9, 10, 13 & 15A),[object Object],were excavated ,[object Object],	during the rule of the Satavahana-s, ,[object Object],	who had their capital at Pratishthana. ,[object Object],During their rule there was ,[object Object],	brisk trade and commerce ,[object Object],	within the land and ,[object Object],	with the Mediterranean world, ,[object Object],		which brought in enormous riches.,[object Object]
Second Phase,[object Object],Mahayana period (4th– 6th centuries AD),[object Object],The second phase was of ,[object Object],	greater artistic activity at Ajanta,[object Object],	and the remaining caves were excavated,[object Object],	during the rule of ,[object Object],	the Vakataka and the Chalukya dynasties ,[object Object],	from the 4th to the 6th centuries AD. ,[object Object]
Patronage,[object Object]
The rulers, the Satavahana-s, ,[object Object],	the Vakataka-s and the Chalukya-s, ,[object Object],	were themselves Hindus, ,[object Object],	but allowed Buddhism ,[object Object],		to flourish in their territory.,[object Object],But there was no direct royal help ,[object Object],	during almost the entire period.,[object Object],But the rich mercantile community, ,[object Object],	organising itself into guilds, ,[object Object],	had provided the requisite patronage.,[object Object]
The entire Ajanta chapter is ,[object Object],a tribute to the religious tolerance ,[object Object],of the Hindu rulers.,[object Object]
Re-discovery,[object Object]
The precious caves remained ,[object Object],		abandoned till 1817 ,[object Object],	when they were discovered ,[object Object],	by a company of British soldiers. ,[object Object],Soon pioneer archaeologists were ,[object Object],	attracted to the caves that were lost ,[object Object],	to civilization for more than 1200 years.,[object Object]
James Burgess and William Gill ,[object Object],made copies of some of the paintings ,[object Object],and exhibited in London in 1866.,[object Object],Unfortunately almost all of these perished ,[object Object],in a disastrous fire. ,[object Object],Later some copies were made ,[object Object],by Griffiths and Lady Herringham, ,[object Object],and published in 1896 and 1915. ,[object Object],Under the patronage of the Nizam, ,[object Object],the then ruler of Hyderabad, ,[object Object],Yazdani edited and published ,[object Object],two volumes on the paintings in 1933.,[object Object]
Rahula and Yashodhara meet the Buddha, Cave 17,[object Object],Reproduction by Herringham,[object Object],Mural,[object Object]
Layout of the Caves,[object Object]
The caves, ,[object Object],	lying deep inside the Sahyadri Hills, ,[object Object],	are hollowed out on the deep face ,[object Object],	of a horseshoe-shaped hillside ,[object Object],	with the Waghora river ,[object Object],		flowing through it. ,[object Object]
Layout,[object Object],17,[object Object],16,[object Object],19,[object Object],The caves are aligned ,[object Object],		 in a horseshoe form.,[object Object],10,[object Object],9,[object Object],              There are a total of 29 caves. ,[object Object],23,[object Object],	The general arrangement was not ,[object Object],	pre-planned, as they sprang up ,[object Object],	sporadically in different periods.,[object Object],6,[object Object],The caves are numbered ,[object Object],not on the basis ,[object Object],of period of excavation, ,[object Object],but on their physical location. ,[object Object],27,[object Object],2,[object Object],1,[object Object]
Views of the Caves,[object Object]
Here are some enchanting views of the caves,[object Object]
Ajanta Paintings
Ajanta Paintings
Undoubtedly suited for uninterrupted ,[object Object],meditation and contemplation,[object Object]
A narrow pathway connects the caves  ,[object Object],to go on a pilgrimage ,[object Object],to the highest achievement of Indian Buddhist art ,[object Object]
Ajanta Paintings
Rock-cut Architecture,[object Object]
The caves of Ajanta offer an instructive field ,[object Object],	for the study of the evolution of ,[object Object],		rock-cut architecture. ,[object Object],It is unique in the sense,[object Object],	that it can be viewed ,[object Object],		as an enterprise of a sculptor.,[object Object],The cave architecture, ,[object Object],	at Ajanta and elsewhere, ,[object Object],	betrays the strong influence ,[object Object],		of wooden construction. ,[object Object]
The team was probably drawn from ,[object Object],	the profession of carpenters, ,[object Object],	with goldsmiths and ivory-carvers,[object Object],		joining hands with the sculptors.,[object Object]
The evolution of rock architecture,[object Object],	took place during two periods: ,[object Object],	the Hinayana period ,[object Object],		of the pre-Christian era and ,[object Object],	the later Mahayana period. ,[object Object]
Hinayana period (2nd - 1st centuries BC),[object Object],During the first phase,[object Object],the sculptural activity,[object Object],was limited. ,[object Object]
Mahayana period (4th century onwards),[object Object],In the second phase ,[object Object],sculptural compositions filled ,[object Object],the facade, the shrines, etc.,[object Object],Side by side with ,[object Object],the excavation of new caves ,[object Object],the existing Hinayana caves ,[object Object],were suitably modified. ,[object Object]
Mahayana period – facade embellished,[object Object]
Ajanta Paintings
The caves of Ajanta are divided into,[object Object],Chaitya-s– Temples,[object Object],Vihara-s- Monasteries,[object Object]
Chaitya-Facade,[object Object],The entrance has,[object Object],a prominent,[object Object],arched window,[object Object],to light,[object Object],the interior,[object Object],Relief sculptures,[object Object],added in,[object Object],Mahayana period,[object Object]
Arched roof,[object Object],Chaitya - Interior,[object Object],Interior consists of,[object Object],a long vaulted nave,[object Object],with a pillared aisle,[object Object],on either side,[object Object],Stupa,[object Object],Far end is semicircular  ,[object Object],with a stupaat its  centre,[object Object],Pillared,[object Object],aisle,[object Object],Vaulted nave,[object Object]
Vihara - Plan,[object Object],Shrine,[object Object],Cells,[object Object],It has,[object Object],a congregationhall,[object Object],Hall,[object Object],withcells,[object Object],for the monks,[object Object],on the inner sides,[object Object],Later ashrine,[object Object],was excavated,[object Object],at the far end,[object Object],Entrance,[object Object]
Vihara - Interior,[object Object],On the left to the entrance is ,[object Object],the famous painting of Padmapani,[object Object],A colossal statue of the Buddha ,[object Object],is seen in the sanctum,[object Object]
Vihara - Interior,[object Object],Cave 2,[object Object]
Sculpture,[object Object]
During the first phase, the Buddha ,[object Object],	was not shown in the human form, ,[object Object],	but only through symbols, ,[object Object],		such as,,[object Object],		the Wheel, the Bodhi Tree ,[object Object],		and the Feet of the Buddha. ,[object Object],But during the Mahayana period ,[object Object],		sculptures and paintings ,[object Object],		of the Buddha ,[object Object],		and the Bodhi-sattva-s, ,[object Object],			were added.,[object Object]
The sculpture of Ajanta ,[object Object],belongs ,[object Object],	to the great art-tradition ,[object Object],	of contemporary India.,[object Object],Sculpture from the 4th century AD, ,[object Object],	is remarkable for ,[object Object],	its grace, elegance, ,[object Object],	restraint and serenity. ,[object Object]
Maha-pari-nirvana, Cave 26,[object Object]
Maha-pari-nirvana, Cave 26,[object Object]
Naga King and ,[object Object],his consort ,[object Object],Cave 19,[object Object]
However, the general character ,[object Object],	of the sculpture of Ajanta ,[object Object],	tends towards 	a certain heaviness of form, ,[object Object],	and is considered inferior ,[object Object],		to the Gupta images.,[object Object]
Hariti Shrine, Cave 2,[object Object]
Every one of the sculptures,[object Object],was plastered and painted.,[object Object],But most of the plaster,[object Object],is now lost.,[object Object],Sculpture at the Entrance,[object Object],Cave 17,[object Object]
Themes,[object Object]
Jataka Stories,[object Object],The subjects of the paintings are ,[object Object],mostly from,[object Object],the jataka-s, ,[object Object],Buddhist mythological stories ,[object Object],of the previous lives ,[object Object],of the Master,[object Object]
Jataka Stories,[object Object],This is a scene from the story of King Shibi, ,[object Object],who offered his own flesh to save a pigeon.,[object Object]
A Scene from Shibi Jataka, Cave 1,[object Object]
Life of the Buddha,[object Object],Episodes from the life of the Buddha form ,[object Object],the next important theme.,[object Object]
Life of the Buddha,[object Object],Gautama was meditating under the Bodhi tree ,[object Object],	to attain enlightenment. ,[object Object],Mara, the Evil Spirit, made many attempts ,[object Object],	to dislodge Gautama from His resolve. ,[object Object],Mara sent his three most beautiful daughters,[object Object],	to distract Him.,[object Object],When this failed, ,[object Object],	Mara summoned his demons ,[object Object],		to dislodge Gautama. ,[object Object],       But Gautama was calm and unmoved.,[object Object]
Mara’s Episode, Cave 1,[object Object]
Life of the Buddha,[object Object],On the way to Her parent’s house,[object Object],	Mayadevi gave birth to Siddharta ,[object Object],	in Lumbini grove of shaala trees.,[object Object],Brahma, Indra and other gods descended,[object Object],to pay their respects to the new-born. ,[object Object]
A Scene fromThe Birth of the Buddha, Cave 2 ,[object Object]
Solo Pictures,[object Object],Religious,[object Object],There are,[object Object],a few compositions,[object Object],of divinities,,[object Object],but these are not,[object Object],part of any story.,[object Object],Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, Cave 1,[object Object]
Solo Pictures,[object Object],Secular,[object Object],A few of the solo-pictures ,[object Object],do not seem to have ,[object Object],any religious import.,[object Object]
Lady doing her make-up, Cave 17,[object Object]
Decorative,[object Object],The paintings in the last category are ,[object Object],	decorative and secular.,[object Object],They fill up all the available space ,[object Object],	on the ceilings, pillars, etc.,[object Object]
Mythical birds,[object Object],Clown,[object Object],Floral design,[object Object],Geometrical design,[object Object],Animals,[object Object],Hilarious themes,[object Object]
Composition,[object Object]
Composition of the paintings over the period ,[object Object],is an interesting study.,[object Object]
Earlier phase (2nd - 1st centuries BC),[object Object],Narration arranged is,[object Object],in the form of long canvass,,[object Object],at eye level,,[object Object],progressing from episode to episode,[object Object],The Raja with his Retinue, Cave 10,[object Object]
Later phase (4th century AD onwards),[object Object],Later the paintings overspread ,[object Object],	the entire surface of the wall. ,[object Object],In these paintings narratives proceed ,[object Object],	from scene to scene and ,[object Object],	from act to act,[object Object],		harmoniously. ,[object Object],The scenes are not separated ,[object Object],	into frames that might disturb ,[object Object],	the concentration ,[object Object],		of the viewing devotees.,[object Object]
Later phase (4th century AD onwards),[object Object],An interesting feature of the  narration, ,[object Object],	from the earlier times,,[object Object],is that a strict chronology of events,[object Object],	was not followed. ,[object Object],In many panels scenes are ,[object Object],	grouped according ,[object Object],	to the location of the scenes. ,[object Object],The composition of Matriposhaka Jataka, ,[object Object],	is typical of this period.,[object Object]
Matri-poshaka Jataka,[object Object],Cave 17,[object Object],Bodhisattva born as Matri-poshaka, ,[object Object],	a white elephant, lives in a forest 		taking care of his blind parents.,[object Object],Once the elephant rescues a man, and 	requests him ,[object Object],	not to divulge his presence to any one.,[object Object]
Scene 1,[object Object],The ungrateful person, who was rescued by Matri-poshaka, ,[object Object],gives out his whereabouts to the king.,[object Object],Matri-poshaka Jataka, Cave 17,[object Object]
Scene 1,[object Object],Scene 2,[object Object],The captured elephant is being led to the city.,[object Object]
Scene 1,[object Object],Scene 3,[object Object],Scene 2,[object Object],The king supervises feeding the elephant, ,[object Object],but the elephant refuses to eat. ,[object Object],Before the brooding elephant some food in a large,[object Object],vessel and sugarcane are lying about.,[object Object]
Scene 1,[object Object],Scene 3,[object Object],Scene 4,[object Object],Scene 2,[object Object],The released animal is walking majestically towards the forest.,[object Object]
Scene 1,[object Object],Scene 3,[object Object],Scene 4,[object Object],Scene 5,[object Object],Scene 2,[object Object],The happy reunion.,[object Object]
Later phase (4th century AD onwards),[object Object],Many panels suggest that ,[object Object],	the Ajanta artists used ,[object Object],	specific conventions ,[object Object],	for separating scenes and acts ,[object Object],		from each other ,[object Object],	using suggestive punctuation marks.,[object Object]
A gateway ,[object Object],may mark the end of an act,[object Object],In a palace scene ,[object Object],pillars may separate the scenes,[object Object],Maha-janaka Jataka, Cave 1,[object Object]
Painting Technique,[object Object]
Indian wall-paintings are done on dry wall,  called ,[object Object],fresco secco,[object Object],Indra’s Descent, Cave 17,[object Object],In the West,[object Object],painting is done,[object Object],on a moist wall,,[object Object],called fresco buono,[object Object],Last Supper, da Vinci,[object Object]
It might have taken centuries,[object Object],for the Indian artist ,[object Object],to develop the technique of ,[object Object],preparing the wall for painting, and ,[object Object],also to select suitable pigments ,[object Object],with an appropriate binder. ,[object Object],The importance of these,[object Object],may be seen from the fact that ,[object Object],the Ajanta paintings have withstood,[object Object],the ravages of time ,[object Object],with remarkable resilience.,[object Object]
Preparation of Wall,[object Object],We have no clue to the technique ,[object Object],	of preparing the wall. ,[object Object],But the treatises ,[object Object],	which were written later ,[object Object],	based on the Ajanta experience ,[object Object],	give us an idea. ,[object Object],For example, ,[object Object],	Vishnu-dharmottara (7th century) ,[object Object],	explains the process of preparing ,[object Object],	the base plaster and ,[object Object],	the finish coat, called ‘vajralepa’.,[object Object]
Preparation of Wall – Base Plaster,[object Object],It consisted of powdered brick, ,[object Object],	burnt conches and sand, ,[object Object],	mixed with a molasses ,[object Object],	and decoction of Phaseolus munga.,[object Object],To this were added,[object Object],	mashed ripe bananas or tree resins 	and the pulp of bilva fruit.,[object Object],After drying it was ground down and ,[object Object],	mixed with molasses and water ,[object Object],	until became soft for coating.,[object Object]
Preparation of Wall – Finish Coat,[object Object],Buffaloskin was boiled in water ,[object Object],	until it became soft. ,[object Object],Sticks were then made of the paste and ,[object Object],	dried in the sunshine. ,[object Object],When colour was mixed with this,,[object Object],	it made it fast, and,[object Object],	if white mud was mixed with it, ,[object Object],	it served as a perfect medium,[object Object],		for coating walls.,[object Object]
Pigments used,[object Object],Most pigments were minerals ,[object Object],	available locally:,[object Object],	red ochre, vivid red, yellow ochre, ,[object Object],	indigo blue, chalk white, ,[object Object],	terra verte and green ,[object Object],Only Lapis lazuli was imported,[object Object],Lamp-black was the only non-mineral,[object Object]
Painting Sequence,[object Object],A preliminary sketch in iron ore ,[object Object],	was drawn while the surface ,[object Object],		was still slightly wet,,[object Object],	followed by an under-painting in,[object Object],		grey or white. ,[object Object],On this surface the outline was filled in ,[object Object],	with various colours, ,[object Object],	proceeding from underpainting,[object Object],	to the appropriate colours ,[object Object],		of the subject.,[object Object]
Painting Sequence,[object Object],Finally, when dry, it was finished off ,[object Object],	with a dark outline ,[object Object],		for final definition and ,[object Object],	a burnishing process ,[object Object],	to give lustre to the surface.,[object Object]
Painting Tradition,[object Object]
The paintings of Ajanta are ,[object Object],the earliest representation ,[object Object],of Indian painting tradition ,[object Object],available to us. ,[object Object],Even the earlier paintings at Ajanta, ,[object Object],of the 2nd century BC, ,[object Object],demonstrate ,[object Object],a sophisticated technique,,[object Object],achievable only after centuries of experimentation. ,[object Object],Unfortunately we have no trace of such,[object Object],experimentation. ,[object Object]
To get to know this great tradition ,[object Object],one may turn to the treatises written ,[object Object],based on the Ajanta experiment.,[object Object]
Treatises were codified based ,[object Object],on Ajanta experience,[object Object],Brihat-samhita (6th century),[object Object],Kama-sutra (6th century),[object Object],Vishnu-dharmottara (7th century),[object Object],Samarangana-sutra-dhara (11th century),[object Object]
‘Six Limbs of Painting’,[object Object],according to,[object Object],Kama-sutra,,[object Object],a well-known treatise on erotics,[object Object],     rUpabhedapramANAni ,[object Object],		bhAvalAvaNya yojanam,[object Object],          sAdRShyam vArNikabhangam ,[object Object],		iti chitram shaDAngakam,[object Object],rUpa-bheda 		differentiation ,[object Object],	pramANam 		proportion,[object Object],	bhAva 		suggestion of mood ,[object Object],	lAvaNya-yojanam 	infusion of grace ,[object Object],	sAdRShyam 	resemblance,[object Object],	vArNika-bhangam application of colour,[object Object]
‘Eight Limbs of Painting’,[object Object],according to,[object Object],Samarangana-sutra-dhara,,[object Object],a treatise on Architecture,[object Object],bhUmi-bandhana 	preparation of surface,[object Object],	varnika 		crayon work,[object Object],	rekha-karma 	outline work,[object Object],	lakshaNa 		features of face,[object Object],	varna-karma 	colouring,[object Object],	vartana-karma 	relief by shading,[object Object],	lekha-karma 		correction,[object Object],	dvika-karma 	final outline,[object Object]
Producing ,[object Object],Depth & Relief,[object Object]
From very early times, ,[object Object],	Indian artists have been using ,[object Object],	a variety of techniques ,[object Object],	to produce an illusion ,[object Object],	of the third dimension.,[object Object]
Perspective,[object Object],An example of,[object Object],expert rendering,[object Object],in normal,[object Object],perspective,[object Object],A Monastery,  ,[object Object],Shibi Jataka,  Cave 17,[object Object]
Multiple Vision,[object Object],A technique of painting scenes ,[object Object],from different angles and merging them, ,[object Object],similar to the modern technique ,[object Object],called Multiple Vision. ,[object Object]
Details ,[object Object],of the farthest pavilion,[object Object],would be lost,[object Object],in normal perspective ,[object Object],Three separate shots dissolved,[object Object],to show action,[object Object],in all the pavilions,[object Object]
Multiple Vision,[object Object],Lustration & Renunciation, Cave 1,[object Object]
Kshaya vriddhi (‘loss-and-gain’),[object Object],Fore-shortening,[object Object],A Ceiling Painting, Cave 1,[object Object]
Using Colours,[object Object],Two main techniques were employed ,[object Object],animnonnata 	- flat style,[object Object],nimnonnata 	- relief by shading,[object Object]
Animnonnata,[object Object],A flat style that uses dark colours ,[object Object],	for the subjects in the foreground ,[object Object],	against a background ,[object Object],		of lighter shades, ,[object Object],	or vice versa,[object Object]
Shibi Jataka, Cave 1,[object Object]
Nimnonnata ,[object Object],		Vartana,[object Object],		shading techniques,[object Object],		choosing judiciously ,[object Object],		tones and colours,[object Object],		Ujjotana,[object Object],a technique of,[object Object],		adding highlights,[object Object]
Vartana,[object Object],A high-relief technique,[object Object],to produce ,[object Object],an illusion of ,[object Object],the third dimension,[object Object],	There were three main variations,[object Object]
Patraja (‘shading-like-the-lines-of-a-leaf’),[object Object],Illusion of depth is achieved ,[object Object],by drawing lines to follow contours of the body,[object Object]
A Ceiling Painting, Cave 1,[object Object]
Binduja (dot-and-stipple method),[object Object],Illusion of depth is achieved ,[object Object],	by painting dots ,[object Object],	with variations in concentration of dots,[object Object]
A Ceiling Painting, Cave 2,[object Object]
Airika (a wash technique),[object Object],Illusion of depth is achieved,[object Object],	by executing tonal variation ,[object Object],	and avoiding hard-lines,[object Object]
Children playing with a Hen, Cave 2,[object Object]
Ujjotana (adding highlights),[object Object],Highlights in the form of white patches ,[object Object],	added on the cheeks, the chin, the nose, etc ,[object Object],	to get a three-dimensional effect,[object Object]
A woman in a Palace Scene, Cave 1,[object Object]
Chaya-tapa ,[object Object],(‘shade-and-shine’),[object Object],A technique,[object Object],that produces,[object Object],a chiaroscuro effect,[object Object],Bodhisattva Padmapani, Cave 1,[object Object]
Use of Blue Colour (Lapis Lazuli),[object Object],In the later period lapis lazuli, ,[object Object],	a blue, imported mineral ,[object Object],	came to be used as an effective medium ,[object Object],	for creating visual depth,,[object Object],	contrasting with ,[object Object],		warm red and brown tones,[object Object]
Simhala Avadana, Cave 17,[object Object]
Painting ,[object Object],&,[object Object],DanceUnique relation ,[object Object],in Indian art,[object Object]
The relationship between ,[object Object],painting and dance ,[object Object],is a remarkable unique ,[object Object],Indian tradition,[object Object],Vishnu-dharmottara (7th century AD),[object Object],stresses the impossibility of attaining,[object Object],a proper expression of feeling,[object Object],in painting,[object Object],without the knowledge of dance,[object Object]
There are paintings from the earlier ,[object Object],	as well as the later periods of Ajanta art ,[object Object],		that depict dance scenes. ,[object Object],Here is an unaffected dancer ,[object Object],from pre-Christian era,[object Object]
Raja with his Retinue, Cave 10,[object Object]
Dancing had become highly stylised ,[object Object],	in the later period. ,[object Object],A dancer with full complement ,[object Object],	of accompanying musicians is from Cave 1.,[object Object]
	The vibrant grace of pose and gesture ,[object Object],invest her with,[object Object],a swaying, flower-like rhythm and movement.,[object Object]
Tribhanga Pose,[object Object],Tribhanga is a very important feature ,[object Object],	in the depiction of the human form.,[object Object],The whole figure is structured ,[object Object],	around three main axes.,[object Object]
Tribhanga Pose,[object Object],It gives the body an S-shaped rhythm, ,[object Object],	a fluency of line, ,[object Object],	which, together with ,[object Object],	the appropriate gestures of hands, ,[object Object],	conveys a wide range of expressions. ,[object Object]
Painting &Sculpture,[object Object],Another unique relation,[object Object]
Most impressive is the way ,[object Object],	the two art-forms,,[object Object],	painting and sculpture,,[object Object],	co-exist at Ajanta,,[object Object],	complementing each other.,[object Object]
Cave 6,[object Object]
The sculptures were fully painted, ,[object Object],though most of the paint ,[object Object],has disappeared.,[object Object]
Entrance, Cave 17,[object Object]
Symbolism,[object Object],in Indian Art,[object Object]
The parts of the body ,[object Object],should resemble, and be based on, ,[object Object],similes drawn ,[object Object],from plant or animal-life. ,[object Object],Sensuous lips are ,[object Object],ripe and full like the bimba-fruit;,[object Object],fingers likened to lotus-petals. ,[object Object]
Here the allusion is not ,[object Object],to the form ,[object Object],	but ,[object Object],to the content, ,[object Object],to the mood. ,[object Object],It is a suggestion and ,[object Object],not realistic likeness.,[object Object]
His divine face has,[object Object],	the shape of an egg,[object Object],Bodhisattva Padma-pani,[object Object],Cave 1,[object Object]
His shoulders are ,[object Object],like massive ,[object Object],domed head ,[object Object],of an elephant, ,[object Object],and arms like ,[object Object],its tapered trunk,[object Object],Bodhisattva Padma-pani,[object Object],Cave 1,[object Object]
His hands are ,[object Object],supple like flower-bud,[object Object]
Other Metaphors,[object Object],simha-kati ,[object Object],(body-of-a -lion)   ,[object Object],gomukha khanda ,[object Object],(cow's-head),[object Object]
pada-pallava(feet-like-leaves),[object Object]
charana-kamala (feet-like-lotus),[object Object]
Body Postures,[object Object],(sthana-s),[object Object]
In Indian tradition ,[object Object],the postures of the body were identified and 	,[object Object],distinct terms were used ,[object Object],to cover the entire range,[object Object],rijva-gata,[object Object],(Strict profile),[object Object],parshva-gata,[object Object],(Frontal),[object Object],to,[object Object]
	It is possible ,[object Object],	that  	this was ,[object Object],	greatly influenced ,[object Object],	by the contemporary ,[object Object],	dance traditions. ,[object Object]
A woman listening ,[object Object],to a sermon is ,[object Object],an excellent study,[object Object],Shankha-pala Jataka, Cave 1,[object Object]
The three women are ,[object Object],in different postures; ,[object Object],another example ,[object Object],of elegant poses,[object Object],Mural Painting, Cave 17,[object Object]
This is particularly so,[object Object], with the depiction,[object Object],of women shown,[object Object],in congregation,[object Object],Chempayya Jataka, Cave 1,[object Object]
Draughtmanship,[object Object]
Drawings with ,[object Object],a free flowing ,[object Object],sweep of the brush,[object Object],to depict oval faces, ,[object Object],arched eyebrows,,[object Object],aquiline noses, and,[object Object],fine sensitive lips,[object Object],are aplenty on the walls ,[object Object],of Ajanta,[object Object]
Maha-janaka Jataka, Cave 1,[object Object]
A relaxed monkey,,[object Object],consisting ,[object Object],basically of ,[object Object],one masterly,[object Object],	sweep of brush,[object Object],starting ,[object Object],beneath chin,[object Object],and ,[object Object],forming a curve,[object Object],outlining head,[object Object],and spine,[object Object],and terminating,[object Object],beneath knee-cap,[object Object],Shad-danta Jataka, Cave 17,[object Object]
Portrayal of Women,[object Object],Portrayal of Women,[object Object]
Women of Ajanta are ,[object Object],the art connoisseur’s delight.,[object Object],The Ajanta artist has painted ,[object Object],the whole range of ,[object Object],women characters: ,[object Object],ladies of court and their maids, ,[object Object],dancers,,[object Object],common women ,[object Object],in their house-hold chores,[object Object]
The woman ,[object Object],was the theme ,[object Object],that gave full scope ,[object Object],for expression ,[object Object],of creative genius ,[object Object],for the Ajanta artist. ,[object Object]
The artist had succeeded ,[object Object],in reproducing,[object Object],the soft roundness of her breasts, ,[object Object],the curves of her hips,,[object Object],the turn of her head, ,[object Object],the gestures of her hands and,[object Object],the slanting glance of her eyes.,[object Object]
‘Clothed in Nakedness’,[object Object],It is intriguing that,[object Object],most of Ajanta heroines,[object Object],are depicted naked, ,[object Object],or in near nudity, ,[object Object],while all the others ,[object Object],in the same scene,[object Object],are fully clothed,[object Object]
‘Clothed in Nakedness’,[object Object],Janapada-kalyani,[object Object],Conversion of Nanda, Cave 1,[object Object]
‘Clothed in Nakedness’,[object Object],Queen Shivali,[object Object],Maha-janaka Jataka, Cave 1,[object Object]
‘Clothed in Nakedness’,[object Object],Maya-devi, Siddharta’s Mother,[object Object],Nativity of the Buddha, Cave 2,[object Object]
‘Clothed in Nakedness’,[object Object],Nanda’s wife,,[object Object],the central figure,,[object Object],is naked,[object Object],whereas all,[object Object],the maids are,[object Object],fully clothed.,[object Object],The Dying Princess,[object Object],Conversion of Nanda, ,[object Object],Cave 16,[object Object]
‘Black is Beautiful’,[object Object],Many heroines of Ajanta ,[object Object],are dark complexioned. ,[object Object],Perhaps contemporary taste ,[object Object],included black ,[object Object],as an attractive complexion,[object Object],for skin. ,[object Object]
‘Black is Beautiful’,[object Object],Consort of Padma-pani,[object Object],Padma-pani Panel, Cave 1,[object Object]
‘Black is Beautiful’,[object Object],The Dying Princess,[object Object],Conversion of Nanda, Cave 16,[object Object]
‘Black is Beautiful’,[object Object],Black Apsaras,[object Object],Adoration of the Buddha Panel,[object Object],Cave 17,[object Object]
‘Black is Beautiful’,[object Object],Shakti Pandara, Avalokitesvara Panel, Cave 1,[object Object]
Common People,[object Object],A Village Woman ,[object Object],attending Coronation,[object Object],Vishvantara Jataka, Cave 17,[object Object]
Common People,[object Object],Woman braiding Hair,[object Object],Vishvantara Jataka, Cave 17,[object Object]
We wonder why very sensuous women ,[object Object],were painted at all ,[object Object],in these religious caves,[object Object]
Depiction of Movement,[object Object]
Vishnu-dharmottara says:,[object Object],"He, who paints waves,,[object Object],flames, smoke, … 	,[object Object],according to ,[object Object],the movement of the wind, ,[object Object],is a great painter." ,[object Object],Ajanta painters took ,[object Object],great pleasure ,[object Object],in composing scenes,[object Object],involving movement ,[object Object],with great zest.,[object Object]
In the Scene when Indra and ,[object Object],	His entourage ,[object Object],	descent to worship ,[object Object],	the Buddha. ,[object Object],	the floating clouds, ,[object Object],	the swaying foliage and ,[object Object],		apsaras and gandharvas ,[object Object],	flying swiftly through the air, ,[object Object],		produce a fantastic movement,[object Object]
Indra’s Descent, Cave 17,[object Object]
A mad elephant was let loose,[object Object],on the Compassionate One,[object Object],by his envious half-brother. ,[object Object],Elephant on the rampage,[object Object], is shown in great dynamism,[object Object]
 Subjugation of Nalagiri, Cave 17,[object Object]
This charging bull is,[object Object],another example in depicting movement,[object Object],A Ceiling Painting, Cave 1,[object Object]
Fighting Bulls, A painting on a pillar, Cave 1,[object Object]
Humour,[object Object]
The royal household is ,[object Object],immersed in a religious ,[object Object],discourse by Bodhisattva. ,[object Object],Here is shown a servant ,[object Object],stealing fruits.,[object Object],And a servant-maid has ,[object Object],noticed the mischief.,[object Object]
Attendant,[object Object],Champeyya Jataka, Cave 1,[object Object]
On the pedestal of Goddess Hariti ,[object Object],is shown a class-room.,[object Object],While the students in the front rows ,[object Object],are attentive to the teacher, ,[object Object],the backbenchers are enjoying ,[object Object],themselves by chasing a ram! ,[object Object],Hariti shrine, Cave 2,[object Object]
Musical Heritage,[object Object]
Musical Heritage,[object Object],In Ajanta, we can study the development ,[object Object],	of our musical heritage. ,[object Object],We can see both the continuity and change ,[object Object],	over the period.,[object Object],A variety of musical instruments ,[object Object],	have been depicted.,[object Object]
Musical Heritage,[object Object],Queen Shivali arranges ,[object Object],A programme of dance,[object Object],with a full compliment ,[object Object],of accompanying musicians ,[object Object],in order to draw the king ,[object Object],towards worldly pleasures,[object Object]
Flute,[object Object],Cymbals,[object Object],Flute,[object Object],Vertical,[object Object],Drum,[object Object],Small Drum,[object Object],Dancer with Musicians, Maha-janaka Jataka, Cave 1,[object Object]
Musical Heritage,[object Object],The abdicated king is,[object Object],given a royal send off,[object Object],with musician forming,[object Object],part of the procession,[object Object]
Conch,[object Object],Flute,[object Object],Mridangam,[object Object],King abdicating, Maha-janaka Jataka, Cave 1,[object Object]
Musical Heritage,[object Object],Kinnara playing Kachchapa Vina, Padmapani Panel, Cave 1,[object Object]
Musical Heritage,[object Object],Musicians form the entourage,[object Object],When Indra descends ,[object Object],To worship the Buddha,[object Object]
Cymbal,[object Object],Cymbal,[object Object],Flute,[object Object],Drum,[object Object],Descent of Indra, Cave 17,[object Object]
Contemporary Fashion,[object Object]
Ajanta is ,[object Object],treasure-house ,[object Object],to study ,[object Object],contemporary fashion ,[object Object],in textiles, ,[object Object],jewellery, etc.,[object Object]
Maha-janaka Jataka, Cave 1,[object Object],The girl sports an upper-garment ,[object Object],with rows of geese printed on it,[object Object]
The glorious tradition of ,[object Object],ikkat, ,[object Object],a resist-dye method,,[object Object],where yarn is dyed ,[object Object],to produce a design, ,[object Object],	leading to today’s ,[object Object],Patola and Pochampalli,,[object Object],	was initiated here.,[object Object],Maha-janaka Jataka, Cave 1,[object Object]
The tailored dress of dancer,[object Object],a proof of high degree,[object Object],of sophistication in,[object Object],both fabric design and,[object Object],dress-making,[object Object],Maha-janaka Jataka, Cave 1,[object Object]
Sophisticated ornaments ,[object Object],can be seen,[object Object],on the dancer,[object Object],Arsi, Thumb-ring set,[object Object],with a Miniature Mirror,[object Object],Maha-janaka Jataka, Cave 1,[object Object]
Karna-pushpam, ,[object Object],Ear-rings of elaborate Design,[object Object]
Sharashri, ,[object Object],Head-dress of Gold-beads ,[object Object],and Pearls,[object Object]
Hairdress,[object Object]
Ceiling Paintings,[object Object]
For reasons unknown, ,[object Object],	the Ajanta artist did not paint ,[object Object],	religious themes on the ceilings. ,[object Object],	But expert workmanship is evident. ,[object Object],These drawings have taken ,[object Object],	the texture of a carpet, ,[object Object],	brilliantly woven, ,[object Object],	captivating ,[object Object],	the eyes and filling the senses. ,[object Object]
Flowers,[object Object],Animals/Birds,[object Object],Geometrical,[object Object],In lighter vein,[object Object]
One of the themes is ,[object Object],the huge concentric circle ,[object Object],enclosed in a square, ,[object Object],with number of flowery bands within it.,[object Object]
Cave 2,[object Object]
Ceiling Painting,[object Object],Hariti shrine, Cave 2,[object Object]
Main hall, Cave 17,[object Object]
Another popular theme ,[object Object],consists of a number of ,[object Object],rectangular panels ,[object Object],filled with decorative motifs ,[object Object],framed by smaller rectangles ,[object Object],with representations ,[object Object],of fruit and floral forms.,[object Object]
Ajanta Paintings
Ajanta Paintings
Ceiling Paintings,[object Object],Animals & Birds,[object Object]
Reclining Bulls,[object Object],Cave 17,[object Object]
Cave 1,[object Object]
Cave 1,[object Object]
Ceiling Paintings,[object Object],In Lighter Vein,[object Object]
Cave 1,[object Object],Cave 2,[object Object]
The most intriguing and ,[object Object],least expected ,[object Object],in a religious shrine are ,[object Object],the scenes depicting ,[object Object],a king in his harem,[object Object],and friends enjoying ,[object Object],each other's company,[object Object],with wine!,[object Object]
Persian Harem, Cave 2,[object Object]
Friends drinking, Cave 2,[object Object]
Phases of ,[object Object],Ajanta Art,[object Object]
In most forms of art ,[object Object],one may discern ,[object Object],a gradual and ,[object Object],natural progression.,[object Object]
A lack of experience,[object Object],in making and employing tools,,[object Object],in narration, etc, ,[object Object],is generally the beginning.,[object Object],This is often called archaic style.,[object Object]
Then follows a mature phase, ,[object Object],a phase of quiet dignity ,[object Object],without excesses;,[object Object],and the artists prefer ,[object Object],studied dignity and ,[object Object],what they call 'good taste'.,[object Object],This is the classical phase,[object Object]
Repetition of ideas, ,[object Object],called mannerism,[object Object],is perhaps the next stage ,[object Object],to be followed ,[object Object],by over-ornamentation,,[object Object],a style known as baroque.,[object Object]
It is then the decline,[object Object]
By sheer chance, the development of style ,[object Object],from the beginning to its final decline,[object Object],can be witnessed ,[object Object],within the physical limits of Ajanta.,[object Object],In this respect Ajanta has no parallel.,[object Object]
Pre-Classical Period		(2nd-1st Centuries BC),[object Object],Classical Period		(4th-5th Centuries AD),[object Object],Period of Mannerism 	(5th-6th Centuries AD),[object Object],Baroque Period 		(Mid-6th Century AD),[object Object],Period of Decline		(End-6th Century AD),[object Object]
Phases of Ajanta ArtPre-classical Period ,[object Object],(2nd-1st centuries BC),[object Object]
Pre-classical Period,[object Object],The earliest paintings of Ajanta ,[object Object],of the 2nd-1st century BC ,[object Object],cannot be classified as archaic.,[object Object],These paintings present ,[object Object],lively men and animals. ,[object Object],They belong to,[object Object],the transitional period ,[object Object],that was to carry them on to ,[object Object],the classical phase. ,[object Object]
Pre-classical Period,[object Object],Shown here is a king with his retinue ,[object Object],going towards a temple.,[object Object]
The composition is characterised by restricted use of colours, mostly brown in various tones. ,[object Object],Most characters are shown in the three-fourth profile, a monotony avoided in the later periods.,[object Object],Raja with Retinue, Cave 10,[object Object]
Pre-classical Period,[object Object],Shad-danta Jataka, Cave 10,[object Object],Only a line sketch of this grand composition, ,[object Object],belonging to the same period is available,[object Object],to appreciate the lost glory.,[object Object]
Phases of Ajanta Art,[object Object],Classical Period (4th-5th centuries AD),[object Object]
Classical Period,[object Object],This style means perfect mastery ,[object Object],of the subject.,[object Object],Everything is idealised, ,[object Object],realism is only for creating,[object Object],things of beauty and perfection. ,[object Object],There is a dignity and nobility, ,[object Object],and allows,[object Object],no exaggeration, no excess, ,[object Object],no overstatement and ,[object Object],no dramatisation.,[object Object]
Classical Period,[object Object],Calm, unobtrusive,[object Object],modelling and the gentle,,[object Object],swaying movement,[object Object],of the characters,[object Object],bear the stamp,[object Object],of the classical period.,[object Object],A wash technique,,[object Object],called airika creating,[object Object], an illusion of depth,[object Object],	is employed here,[object Object],Votaries with offerings, Cave 2,[object Object]
The Prince is ,[object Object],informing his wife of his impending exile,[object Object],and is offering wine,[object Object],to steady her.,[object Object]
The posture of ,[object Object],the couple and,[object Object],the sombre colours,,[object Object],make the painful scene,[object Object],striking.,[object Object],Belonging to ,[object Object],the classical period, ,[object Object],the scene brings out ,[object Object],the emotional ,[object Object],atmosphere ,[object Object],effectively. ,[object Object],Visvantara Jataka, Cave 17,[object Object]
Phases of Ajanta Art,[object Object],Period  of Mannerism (5th-6th centuries AD),[object Object]
Period of Mannerism,[object Object],A departure from classicism can be seen ,[object Object],in monotony in the sitting posture and ,[object Object],in the overcrowding.,[object Object],Vidhura-pandita Jataka, Cave 2,[object Object]
Phases of Ajanta Art,[object Object],Baroque Period (Mid-6th century AD),[object Object]
Baroque Period,[object Object],Baroque is a style of ,[object Object],	over-ornamentation and exaggeration.,[object Object],Action takes place in a maze of pillars ,[object Object],	in royal pavilions.,[object Object],The eye-slits are stretched out of proportion.,[object Object],Men look effeminate and ,[object Object],	women exaggeratedly feminine. ,[object Object],Both men and women wear ,[object Object],	excessive ornaments.,[object Object]
Baroque Period,[object Object],The Bodhisattva is ,[object Object],heavily bejewlled and ,[object Object],His eyes elongated ,[object Object],out of proportion. ,[object Object],Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, Cave 1,[object Object]
Baroque Period,[object Object],Maha-janaka Jataka, Cave 1,[object Object]
Phases of Ajanta Art,[object Object],Period of Decline (End-6th century AD),[object Object]
Period of Decline,[object Object],  Artistic standards ,[object Object],were in the decline ,[object Object],from the end of the 6th century.,[object Object],Mercifully this phase did not last long, ,[object Object],for the Ajanta caves were soon ,[object Object],abandoned forever, ,[object Object],for reasons unknown.,[object Object]
Period of Decline,[object Object],The poses are now ,[object Object],exaggerated ,[object Object],with heavy heads, ,[object Object],elongated eyes, ,[object Object],thin legs, ,[object Object],superfluous hand ,[object Object],gestures, etc.,[object Object],The composition ,[object Object],is too crowded. ,[object Object],The execution ,[object Object],becomes careless,[object Object]
Women in a Palace Scene, Cave 1,[object Object]
Period of Decline,[object Object],The figures of ,[object Object],the Buddhas came ,[object Object],to be enclosed ,[object Object],in separate cubicles,[object Object],Two Buddhas, Cave 10,[object Object]
Period of Decline,[object Object],This presentation ,[object Object],of figures of the Buddhas, ,[object Object],lacks refinement and finish.,[object Object],Miracle at Shravasti, Cave 2,[object Object]
Period of Decline,[object Object],In place of shapely ,[object Object],palms and ,[object Object],Sensitive fingers,,[object Object],they are stiff and ,[object Object],simplified.,[object Object],The face lacks expression.,[object Object],An Unidentified Scene, Cave 1,[object Object]
Inspirationat Home,[object Object]
The paintings of Ajanta, ,[object Object],in style, in type and in technique, ,[object Object],exerted their influence ,[object Object],on Indian art ,[object Object],for centuries to follow.,[object Object],The paintings in the Bagh caves ,[object Object],in Ellora, in Sittannavasal, ,[object Object],are perpetuation of the refinement ,[object Object],of the great murals ,[object Object],of the Ajanta caves.,[object Object]
Sittannavasal,[object Object],In Tamilnadu,[object Object],Bagh ,[object Object],in Madhya Pradesh,[object Object]
Inspiration Abroad,[object Object]
With the spread of Buddhism to Indian Asia,[object Object],	Buddhist mural decoration ,[object Object],	initiated at Ajanta ,[object Object],	diffused into these parts.,[object Object],The paintings of Sigiriya in Srilanka, ,[object Object],	of Bamiyan, of Turfan in China and ,[object Object],	of Horyu Kondo in Japan,[object Object],	are regional variation of ,[object Object],	the Ajanta idiom ,[object Object]
Sigiriya, Srilanka,[object Object],Turfan, China,[object Object]
The end of the Ajanta epoch,[object Object],The creative period of Ajanta ended,[object Object],as mysteriously as it had begun.,[object Object],Some of the unfinished caves,,[object Object],which were quite obviously,[object Object],abandoned unexpectedly,,[object Object],show that the emigration took place,[object Object],over a comparatively short span of time.,[object Object]
Ananda Coomaraswamy says ..,[object Object],The frescoes of Ajanta preserve an infinitely precious record of the golden age of Indian painting. ,[object Object]
This is the picture of a halcyon age, where renunciation and enjoyment are perfectly attuned, an art at once of utmost intimacy and reserve.,[object Object]
Every gesture springs in godlike fashion directly from the natural dispositions of the mind ……….,[object Object]
Thank you….,[object Object]
Contact me through: sswami99@gmail.com,[object Object],Find my details at: www.pudukkottai.org/swaminathan,[object Object],S. Swaminathan,[object Object]
Conceived and presented by,[object Object],S. Swaminathan,[object Object],(sswami99@gmail.com),[object Object],www.pudukkottai.org/swaminathan,[object Object],with assistance from,[object Object],R. Murugapandian & M. V. Kiran ,[object Object],Feb, 2005,[object Object]
Ajanta Paintings
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