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Indian Iconography: Musing in Some Unique and Unusual Sculptures

A L Srivastava (Author)
Indian Sculpture is well known for its multi-faceted meanings. Although most of the divine sculptures have been found in accordance with their norms contained in textual literature or their stories and episodes available in religious myths, yet, in some cases we encounter with some uncommon or unusual features in a figure, which are neither supported by the canonical injunctions nor by any mythological narrations, and thus they pose difficulty in identifying the figure. Such unique or unusual figures are often supposed to be the result of the fancy of the artist. But it is not correct. Their unusual creation is certainly based on some Puranic references, which we ought to search out for proper and correct identification. 

The present work brings out some unique and unusual examples of Indian iconography. To name a few unique ones –a Gaja Laksmi seated directly on the back of a lion; another flanked  by a standing lion on either side near her feet; on owl being  anointed by elephants and a seated Laksmi with one seated elephant on her both sides. No second example of any such figure in any art medium has come to our notice so far. Some unusual compositions have also been included like Surya, a goddess representing combined aspects and an enigmatic male figure on a large stone water reservoir in this title.

Indian Iconography: Musing in some Unique and Unusual Sculpures is a work of original and thought provoking research on some unique, unusual and enigmatic divine sculptures.
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About the author

A L Srivastava

Born in 1936 in Uttar Pradesh. Dr. A.L. Srivastava took his Masters' degree in Ancient History, culture and Archaeology from Lucknow University in 1966 and stood first class first. He was awarded Ph.D. degree in 1976 from the same University. Dr. Srivastava has contributed to Indian and foreign research journals about seventy papers on different aspects of Indology, particularly on the auspicious symbols in early Indian art. He has been regularly contributing popular papers and stories based on Indian history, art and culture to almost all the leading Hindi periodicals in the country. Similarly, he has also made about two dozen radio-broadcasts on variuos facets of Indology. Credit goes to Dr. Srivastava for his discoveries of some rock-paintings in the hills of Sanchi-Kanakhera and Nagauri in the Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh in 1973 and a rare silver coin of the Chandragupta-Kumaradevi type in 1974. His keen interest in the field of research enabled Dr. Srivastava to be invited by the Canadian Asian Studies Association to present his paper on Nandyavarta to the annual conference of the Learned Societies of Canada held at the University of Montreal in June 1985 where his papers aroused a lively discussion.

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Bibliographic information

Title Indian Iconography: Musing in Some Unique and Unusual Sculptures
Format Hardcover
Date published: 24.01.2011
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8176467502, 9788176467506
length xvi+184p., Illustrations; Bibliography; Index; 29cm.