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Metal Sculptures of Eastern India

Bimal Bandyopadhyay (Author)
Synopsis The study of Indian bronzes has always been a fascinating subject for the scholars, yet the bronzes from eastern India which occupy a conspicuous position in Indian art has often been a neglected field. The subject was therefore, chosen by the author to make a comprehensive study which he did so meticulously that the University of Calcutta awarded him a Ph.D. Degree for the work. The work not only reveals the skill of the craftsmen of the past but a civilization that was at its height during the contemporary age. The study has further brought out the socio-cultural base of this form of art which once formed a part of the curricula of the famous University of Nalanda for its students from India and abroad. The east thus was once one of the main centers of metal casting and a source of inspiration for the craftsmen of India as is evident from the ancient literature. The abundant availability of the bronzes during the Pala period and their high quality speaks of their heritage. After its initial adherence to the earlier school for a short period there developed a full blooded Eastern India school renowned for its graceful charm and sensuousness. Due to the rise of Vajrayana cult in Buddhism patronized by the royalty and the elite the extensive pantheon of Buddhist Gods and Goddesses grew adding a new dimension to the iconoplastic art. The process of creating unmatching objects of art continued through generations-for more than three centuries and it oscillates between the abstract and the reality of form. With the change of the ruling dynasty the art died out being overpowered by a debased classicism. In its first chapter the development of metals art in India has been narrated with a reference to the technique involved. In chapter two the development and growth of the metal art in eastern India has been narrated and has been broadly divided into three periods, i.e. Early Pala, Classical Pala and Late Pala. How the art form developed and flowered to its best has been analysed with reference to specimens illustrated in the book. The east Indian School has made to lasting influence on the metal art of Orissa, Madhya Pradesh etc. and surrounding countries like Nepal, Tibet, Burma, Ceylon, Java, Siam and that has been studied in chapter three. Several literary texts contain evidences relating to the casting of images in metal and that has been elaborately discussed in chapter four. The book has been illustrated by more than sixty plates and it has further been enriched by a classified list of selected metal sculptures housed in different museums of India and abroad.
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About the author

Bimal Bandyopadhyay

Dr. Bimal Bandyopadhyay (b. 1948), was a student of the Government Sanskrit College and Presidency College, Calcutta. He got his Nonours degree in Ancient Indian and World History from the University of Calcutta in 1967 and stood first, winning a gold medal. He was subsequently awarded a national Scholarship for continuing his higher studies in Ancient Indian History and Culture and got the Master's degree in 1969 from the same University securing high marks in the fine Arts group. He was awarded the Ph.D. degree for his work in 'Early Metal Sculptures of Eastern India' in 1976. He has further specialised in field Archaeology and got the Diploma from the School of Archaeology, New Delhi, in 1977. He took part in various important excavations in Eastern India. At present, he is working in the Archaeological Survey of India and of the report on Ropar Excavation. Besides,he is currenlty preparing ia monography of Temple Architecture of Eastern India.

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Bibliographic information

Title Metal Sculptures of Eastern India
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.1981
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Sundeep Prakashan
Language: English
isbn 8175740450
length xxi+215p., 65 Plates; Appendix; Bibliography; Index; 26cm.