This work attempts to present an outline of the development of sculptural art in Assam.
The history of the sculptural art in Assam goes back to the ÝuÆga period as is proved by the recent discovery of a heavily ornamented but mutilated human terracotta figure, which by stylistic consideration can be placed in 200-100 bc. The next group of sculptures are dated in the Gupta period, which also includes a door-frame of a ruined temple, showing the figures of GaÆgŒ and YamunŒ in minute workmanship. In around 8th-9th century, there was a development of a regional style depicting tribal affinity. However, later on, greatly influenced by the Eastern Indian School of Medieval Sculptures, the sculptural style of Assam reached its zenith in the 12th century. After the arrival of Ahoms from Myanmar, the art took a separate style. In the 17th-18th century, the art were greatly influenced by the folk element.
An effort has been made in the present volume to present a coherent picture to the reader. Here, stone, metal and terracotta sculptures have been included. Images published here throw fresh light on the culture, ethnography, trade, art and religious history of the region which has been further substantiated by literary, numismatic and epigraphic evidence.
In this monograph, the important sculptures are analysed with reference to their aesthetic value, style and iconography. Strikingly illustrated, this work is the result of authors' sustained interest and study on
the subject for more than four decades.
This important handbook on sculpture masterpieces will be indispensable for scholars, students of comparative religion, and anyone who wants to know Assam and understand its composite identity.