Volume I- Interpretation
Volume II- Supplement
Volume III- Plates
Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (lGNCA), through one of its programmes, viz. the Kalasamalocana series, has been engaged in the publication of critical writings on different facets of arts and aesthetics. One part of the series concentrates on the works of eminent scholars who have dwelt upon the fundamental concepts, identified perennial sources and created bridges of communication by juxtaposing diverse traditions. Their works are of contemporary relevance and validity as they are engaged in search for roots and for a comprehensive perception. These significant works of scholarship are often inaccessible as they are either out-of-print or do not have translations in English. The other part of the series deals with revisions and thematically re-arranged editions and translations of selected authors and their works.
Prof. Dieter Schlingloff is one of the leading experts on the paintings of Ajanta. He has been engaged with the task of identifying the subject matter of the Ajanta Paintings in rich detail-a pre-requisite for further research. His steadfast research for last forty years constitutes a brilliant corpus of books and articles on the paintings of Ajanta. His work titled, Ajanta - Handbuch der Malereien (in German), published in Germany in the year 2000 comprises the quintessence of his research on the narrative wall paintings, their literary sources and the cultural background. In Prof. Schlingloffs own words, "The narrative paintings of the ancient period of Ajanta are of no less quality than the contemporaneous paintings of Roman Pompeii, and like those, they are the only testimonies of the marvelous art of narrative wall-painting elsewhere lost. The glory of ancient Indian culture and the high standard of its morality as revealed in the Ajanta paintings should become known worldwide".
Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts decided to publish in English Prof. Schlingloffs work Ajanta: Handbook of the Peintinqs-Nerretive Wall-paintings for a wider circulation amongst English reading public and for scholars engaged in research on the subject. In the past, IGNCA has also brought out a CD Rom on the Ajanta Caves through the multi-media and virtual walk-through technology to provide a comprehensive view to know and explore further this great monument-a Unseco World Heritage Site since 1983. The narrative wall paintings form the subject matter of the present publication arranged in three volumes where the main focus remains on the relationship of the text and the image that will hopefully stimulate further discussion and investigation in similar fields. IGNCA is pleased to bring out this monumental and comprehensive work during its Silver Jubilee Celebration Year.
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