It is a matter of certain amount of satisfaction that the first edition of this book, published in late 2002, was almost completely sold out by mide - 2006. Although, of late, I am not keeping good health, on the insistence of the students and the members of the Faculty of the National Museum institute, New Delhi, particulary Prof.(Dr.) Anupa Pande, head of the History of Art Department , who kept on going me to do it so very affectionately that I could not refuse. My friends Shri K. N. Dikshit and Sri Trivedi Madneshwar are to some extent also responsible for it. Having once decided to add three new chapters in this edition of the publication- one, dealing with the Rock Art, also called "Prehistoric Art" or "Stone Age Art", second dealing with the " Protohistric Art", or " The Bronze Age Art", same as " The Harappan Art", also called " The Indus" or "the Indus- Sarasvati Art," and the third dealing with the " Indian Art Beyond the Indian frontiers" encompassing the ancient art of some of the neighbouring countries located on the south and the east of India _ Sri Lanka , Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia _ since these countries have shared India's culture for centuries together and producted a lot similar works of art and architecture within their own local matrix.
I will be failing in my duty if I do not record the most valuable assistance I received from my young colleagues in the Indian Archaeological Society, New Delhi, Sarvashri Suresh Bomble and S. Vijayakumar. On the Secretarial and Internet front, Savashri Mohit Srvastava, Lakhan Trivedi and Bharat Singh were of great help, for which I am thankful to them. Ms. Raj Rani, Librarian, helped me by providing most the books I needed.
Lastly, a word of appreciation for Shri Sushil Mittal, the Young and energetic owner of the D. K. Printworld, who lovingly placed a very tall order to me - "Kindly complete it within two weeks Course of the National Museum Institute who have expressed great desire to own the book very soon." Was it not Cruelty? But than I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Back of the Book The book is the study of the fundamental Principles of ancient Indian art and architecture, dealing with essentials of Hindu thinking and practice of art like the Hindu view of Godhead, iconography and iconometry, and symbols and symbolism in Hindu Art. It undertakes a survey of Indian art and Temple architecture from the 3rd century BCE through the mediaeval period. It elaborately views the various terms and concepts associated with the field of art and iconography like mudras, asanas, pithas , explaining the nature of Buddhist and Jain deities as well as those of Hindu sects like Saivism, Vaisnavism and Saktism.
Tracing the differences in conception of a Hindu temple, a Muslim Mosque and a Christian church, the research focuses particulary on the principles of visualization of symbols and signs in Hinduism and Christianity. It also reveals how the West has viewed Indian literature and art, exposing the inner contradictions of some European thinkers who while praising literary works of kalidasa and others condemned the Hindu images.
The work contains more than 400 illustrations, half-tone and line drawings, that make the discussion easy to comprehend for a range of readers- scholars, students as well as laymen.
Dr. S. P. Gupta, born is 1931, presently Chairman, Indian Archaeological Society , New Delhi, is a distinguished archaeologist and art historian . He has authored a Number of books including Disposal of the Dead and physical Types in Ancient India (1971), Tourism, Meseums and Monuments (1975), Archaeology of Soviet Central Asia and the Indian Borderlands two volumes (1978), The roots of Indian Art (1980) and Cultural Tourism in India (2002).
Dr. Shashi Prabha Asthana (1947- 1997) an expert in ancient Indian history and archaeology, won a number of prestigious scholarships and fellowships like Commonwealth Scholarship and British Institute Fellowship. She has authored several monographs and catalogues including History and Archaeology of India's Contacts with other Countries from earliest times to 300 BC (1976), Pre-Harappan Cultures of India and Its Borderlands (1985), Mathura Kala (200), Indian Art through the Ages and Indian Bronzes.
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