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Scientific Preservation of Ajanta Murals

Manager Rajdeo Singh (Author)

This book deals about scientific investigation about mural art of Ajanta reflecting two decades of research. This discovery of Ajanta and measures adopted by various art lovers in early 19th Century at has direct impact on its conservation as detailed in the book. The ancient Indian painting recipe and mural art techniques employed at Ajanta has been incorporated in the book. Detailed studies about nature and characterization of mud mortar of Ajanta/Ellora which support the survival of mural art have been elaborated. The source of raw materials for the preparation of Ajanta/Ellora mud plaster, addition of various aggregates, proteinaceous adhesive and vegetal remains in the plaster for its preparation has been detailed in the book. An elaborative study about the discovery of Cannabis Sativa (Hemp or Bhang) in the mud plaster of Ellora has been discussed. The book also highlights the data for cross sectional study of painted plaster, the analytical data obtained through the instrumental analysis of the pigment and plaster layers using XRF, XRD, FTIR, Raman Spectroscopy, SEM, thermo hygrograph, Lux meter, Protimeter, carbon dioxide analyzer, noise meter etc, in details. This detailed investigation has helped in the preparation of matching mud/lime plaster at Ajanta/Ellora for restoration purpose. The impact of visitors on cave murals of Ajanta like variations of temperature, humidity, noise level, carbon dioxide level etc, within the caves besides impact of light on the painted plaster, degradation of murals caused by application shellac varnish, insect activity on the murals have been discussed. The scientific cleaning methods employed at Ajanta for the removal of 19th century shellac coating, soot, dust dirt etc, from the painted surface has been discussed along with photograph of before/after cleaning activity. The recent cleaning efforts undertaken in the Hinayana cave of Ajanta has been specifically highlighted under unseen Ajanta.

This book also discuss about the application of saline technique for the consolidation of sculpture of Ajanta/Ellora.

Contents: Preface. 1. Introduction. 2. Materials and methods. 3. Results and discussion. 4. Conclusions. References. Index.

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About the author

Manager Rajdeo Singh

Dr. Manager Rajdeo Singh is presently working as professor and head, Department of Conservation, National Museum Institute, Janpath, New Delhi-110011. He has worked for about 37 years in various capacity in other central government organization and retired on 31.12.2015 as superintending Archaeological Chemist, Archaeological Survey of India, Science branch, Aurangabad, He has authored around 80 research papers published in various international/ national journals on various topics of archaeological conservation/ ancient material science. He has also authored five books published by international/ national publishers. He was associated with the conservation of Cave murals of Ajanta/Ellora, Goa Churches and monuments of Maharashtra and Goa for a long time and contributed immensely towards conservation of mural arts in India.

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Bibliographic information

Title Scientific Preservation of Ajanta Murals
Format Hardcover
Date published: 27.07.2015
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788173201608
length xvii+167p., 43 Figures; 68 Plates; 17 Tables