Epic Scenes in Indian Plastic Art
The immortal epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, are the cherished and prized heritage of Indian culture. The idealized versions of Rama and Krishna narrated in the two epics and the Bhagwat Purana, the episodes and characters described in them have sunk deep into the psyche of every Indian. Like Buddhism, which provided inspiring themes to the Indian artist, the epics too inspired the Indian sculptor to execute his artistic creations in stone, stucco and terracotta in rock caves and temples all over the subcontinent. The artistic depiction of the epic themes in different ages and regions testifies to the universal and ever-lasting popularity of the epics with the Indian artists. In spite of the gap of centuries between the Gupta period and the medieval period, the core values and the personality of the ideal or semi-miraculous personages depicted in the Indian sculpture remain changeless. The book is a fascinating study of epic themes appearing in visual art. The author has painstakingly documented the various themes carved in temples and rock caves, garnered from every nook and corner of the subcontinent-from Deogarh and Osian in the north to Badami and Belur in the south, from Paharpur in Bangladesh to Wadhwan and Markandi in Gujarat and Maharashtra.