A Survey of Indian Sculpture

A Survey of Indian Sculpture

A Survey of Indian Sculpture

A Survey of Indian Sculpture

Excerpt

There are several books on Indian sculpture, but they deal mostly with its philosophy or iconography, rather than with its history. My esteemed teacher, Dr. Stella Kramrisch, was the first to study Indian sculpture in relation to time and space; but her book (Indian Sculpture Calcutta, 1933), splendid as it is in many ways, is not perhaps meant for the general reader. A history of Indian sculpture, setting forth in clear and comprehensible terms the various trends and tendencies that went to constitute Indian plastic tradition, was felt to be a necessity, and the present work is an attempt in that direction. It brings within its scope a vast field of study, and special emphasis is given to the origins and development of the basic strains and characteristics of Indian plastic art in a historical perspective. It has been my endeavour to interpret the changes of form through the ages as a logical, orderly and organic evolution. How far I have succeeded in this attempt, I leave to the judgment of discerning readers.

Śodhyo'yaḿ karuṇāvadbhiḥ kṛitibhir-me pariśramaḥ

The extent of the present work is, however, limited in relation to the wide panorama of the subject, and it has not been possible to discuss in detail the history of mediaeval Indian sculpture which, with its many regional ramifications each having manifold strains, offers itself a vast field of study. I have indicated here only the general tenor of mediaeval sculpture in its principal expressions. If opportunities permit, it is intended to issue a companion volume dealing with the history of mediaeval Indian sculpture in all its details.

The book was sent to the press nearly three years ago. My indifferent health, coupled with my deputation . . .

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