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The Unfinished: The Stone Carvers at Work in the Indian Subcontinent

Vidya Dehejia (Author) Peter Rockwell (Author)

The sheer number of unfinished stone monuments in India is staggering and examples appear at some of India's most famous and well-studied sites that include rock-cut Ellora, Ajanta, and Mamallapuram. Unfinished work also appears on built temples celebrated for the intricacy of their sculpted decoration, such as those in Hoysala kingdom or in Orissa. This detailed study provides an overall coverage of India's unfinished work while addressing a range of issues related to stone-carving by examining a select number of monuments at specific sites. Instead of focusing on a site in its entirety, the study here focuses on specific issues of consequence in the context of unfinished work, as they gain an added weight and significance through discovery of their repetitive occurrence at site after site.

At the heart of this book are the many varieties of unfinished stone carving that merit close observation to see what is there and what is not, and to appreciate that all the finished work has been through these various stages of being unfinished before reaching completion.

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About the author
In the spotlight

Vidya Dehejia

Vidya Dehejia is the Barbara Stoler Miller Professor of Indian and South Asian Art at Columbia University in New York, and the recipient of a Padma Bhushan conferred on her by the President of India in 2012 for achievement in Art and Education. Over the past 40 years, she has combined research with teaching and exhibition-related activities around the world. Her work has ranged from Buddhist art of the centuries BCE to the esoteric temples of North India, and from the sacred bronzes of South India to art under the British Raj. This comprehensive scope is evident from her books: The Thief who Stole my Heart: The Material Life of Sacred Bronzes from Chola India, 855–1280 to Discourse in Early Buddhist Art: Visual Narratives of India; from The Unfinished: Stone Carvers at Work on the Indian Subcontinent to The Body Adorned: Dissolving Boundaries between Sacred and Profane in India’s Art; and from Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj to Devi, The Great Goddess: Female Divinity in South Asian Art. Management and curatorial experience at the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries in Washington DC, combined with her interest and pleasure in teaching first-year undergraduates, provided her with a broad mandate to convey the excitement of her field to non-specialist audiences. India: A Story through 100 Objects is a result of this priority.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Unfinished: The Stone Carvers at Work in the Indian Subcontinent
Format Hardcover
Date published: 08.02.2016
Edition 1st. ed.
Publisher Roli Books
Language: English
isbn 9351941140, 9789351941149
length 274p., Plates