The Present Album is not intended to present a complete series of reproductions of the mural paintings of Ajanta. For that one has still to turn to the excellent four-volume portfolio brought out by the Hyderabad Government between the years 1930 and 1955. The aim here has been to present some outstanding and representative paintings of Ajanta in a convenient form so as to promote their appreciation. In such cases the selection can never suit everyone’s taste, but we have done our best. Nor is the text to be regarded as a complete treatise on Ajanta. The topics dealt with therein are designed only to be indicative of the vastness of the subjects.
The chapters in the text have been written by different hands. While Shri M.n. Deshpande, Director, School of Archaeological Survey of India, who has wide knowledge of the west-Indian caves, has contributed the bulk (three chapters), two chapters have been contributed each by Dr.B.B. Lal, Archaeological Chemist in India of the same Survey, who has been dealing with the chemical treatment and preservation of mural paintings and allied matters over India for a long time, and by Miss Ingrid Aall, art-historian from Oslo, who was working in Indian art a few years back. I am responsible for only one chapter, Introduction, and the Bibliography.
All the photographs reproduced reproduced in the Album were taken by. Shri S.G. Tiwari, Senior Photographer, Archaeological Survey of India, assisted by Shri Suresh Jadhav, formerly Photographer in the South-western Circle of the Survey. Shri S.P.Baukhandi, Artist in the same Circle, made himself useful in many ways in the production of the work: he prepared the line-drawing, checked, together with Miss Aall and also independently, the fidelity of the colour on the blocks and advised the printers about its rectification.
My sincere thanks are due to Shri Sailendranath Guha Ray, Director-in charge, Shri J.P. Guha Sales Manager and Shri S.K. Mitra Rai, Account Executive, Sree Saraswaty Press Ltd, where all the processing and printing have been done, for their intimate and personal interest in producing the best results. In fact, Shri Guha visited Ajanta (at no cost to us) for the purpose of comparing the colour on the proofs of blocks with that of the murals and substantially corrected them so as to ensure the nearest possible approach to the originals.
Finally, I have to thank Shri M.N. Deshpande, Shri H. Sarkar, at present Assistant Editor in the Secretariate of the Twenty-sixth International Congress of Orientalists, Shri M.C. Joshi, Assistant Superintendent, Archaeological Survey of India, and Shri S.R. Varma of the Headquarters office of the Survey, for their help in seeing the work through the press. In addition, Shri Joshi has also prepared the Index.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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