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The Buddhist Art of Kausambi

From 300 BC to AD 550

One of the major centres of Buddhist art in ancient times, Kausambi provides evidence of an uninterrupted art tradition spanning centuries. Pointing to the scant attention Kausambi has received from scholars in the past, this work attempts to highlight its art treasures through a study of its stone sculptures. Based on scrutiny of stone sculptures found at various sites in Kausambi and its vicinity and housed in different museums, it presents perhaps the first extensive documentation of the Buddhist art of the region from the Mauryan to post-Gupta period.

It examines in detail over 300 stone sculptures, paying special attention to their iconographic features, types of stone, techniques of carving, grinding and polishing and their aesthetic appeal. All this comes with a background throwing light on the history of Kausambi and its association with Buddhism, the early archaeological explorations in the region, and the individuality and uniqueness of Kausambi art as compared to Mathura and Sarnath schools.

The book presents over 225 black-and-white and over 50 coloured photographs of Buddhist sculptures which are neatly classified and systematically analysed. It would prove invaluable to scholars and students of Buddhist art.

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About This Book

One of the major centres of Buddhist art in ancient times, Kausambi provides evidence of an uninterrupted art tradition spanning centuries. Pointing to the scant attention Kausambi has received from scholars in the past, this work attempts to highlight its art treasures through a study of its stone sculptures. Based on scrutiny of stone sculptures found at various sites in Kausambi and its vicinity and housed in different museums, it presents perhaps the first extensive documentation of the Buddhist art of the region from the Mauryan to post-Gupta period.

It examines in detail over 300 stone sculptures, paying special attention to their iconographic features, types of stone, techniques of carving, grinding and polishing and their aesthetic appeal. All this comes with a background throwing light on the history of Kausambi and its association with Buddhism, the early archaeological explorations in the region, and the individuality and uniqueness of Kausambi art as compared to Mathura and Sarnath schools.

The book presents over 225 black-and-white and over 50 coloured photographs of Buddhist sculptures which are neatly classified and systematically analysed. It would prove invaluable to scholars and students of Buddhist art.

  • Foreword By : G.C. Pande
  • Binding: : Hardbound
  • 13 Digit ISBN : 9788124602263
  • 10 Digit ISBN : 8124602263
  • Edition : 1st edition
  • Year : 2003
  • Pages : xxii, 342 p.
  • Size : 29
  • Weight (approx.) : 1750
  • Bibliographic Details : 54 Coloured Illustrations; Bibliography; Index

Foreword -- G.C. Pande      
Preface -- Aruna Tripathi   
Indroduction -- S.P. Gupta      
Transliteration Chart      
Acknowledgements         
Abbreviations

1. Backdrop 

Location and Identification 
Kausambi as Centre of Trade and Traffic 
Kausambi as a Prominent Centre of Art Activities 
Previous Works 

2. History of Kausambi

Literary Sources 

Brahmanic Tradition -- The Tradition of the Brahmanas -- The Tradition of the Epics -- The Tradition of the Puranas -- Tradition in Secular Sanskrit Works -- Buddhist Literary Tradition -- Jaina Tradition 

Accounts of Foreign Travellers 
Archaeological Sources 

Evidence of Pottery -- Epigraphic and Numismatic Evidence 

3. Buddhism in Kausambi 

Traditions about Buddha's Visits to Kausambi 
Royal Patronage 

King Udayana -- Queen Samavati -- Vasavadatta -- Bodhi Rajakumara 

Buddhist Establishments in and near Kausambi  

Ghositarama -- In Literature -- Epigraphic Evidence about Ghositarama -- Archaeological -- Evidence Regarding the Monastery of Ghositarama -- The Plan of the Monastery -- Decline of the Ghositarama Monastery -- Ghositarama and Other Buddhist Establishments of Kausambi in Foreign Travellers' accounts 

Identification of Other Buddhist Establishments -- Schism in the Sangha and Kausambi

4. Early Archaeological, Explorations and Excavations at Kausambi
5. sculptures from Kausambi: Documentation 

Objects pertaining to Mauryan Period 
Objects pertaining to  Sunga Period 

Objects pertaining to Late Sunga -- Early Kusana Phase 

Objects pertaining to Kusana Period 

Objects pertaining to Late Kusana -- Early Gupta Phase 

Objects pertaining to Gupta Period 
Coloured Visuals 

6. Sculptures from Kausambi: An appraisal 

Mauryan Art 

Mauryan Pillars -- Ring Stones 

Sunga Art 

Capitals of Monumental Pillars -- Animal Figures which may have Crowned the Pillars -- Fragment of a Four-sided Pillar Carved on all Sides -- Yaksa Head -- Stupa Railing or Vedika -- Frieze Showing Nativity of Buddha -- Decorated Fragments 

The Late Sunga-Early Kusana Art: Transitional Phase 
Kusana Art 

The Bodhisattva-Buddha Images -- Slab with a Buddha Figure -- Ayagapatta -- Lions -- Fragments of Columns -- Decorated Fragments -- Yaksa -- Darpana Yaksi -- Terracotta Images from the Shrine of Hariti 

The Late Kusana-Early Gupta Art: Transitional Phase 

Buddha Heads -- Standing Buddha Image -- Halo -- Parasols -- Votive Stupa -- Fragment of Standing Bodhisattva (?) -- Decorated Fragments 

Gupta Art 

The Buddha Images -- Bodhisattva Images -- Fragments of the Buddha/Bodhisattva Images -- Images of Other Dieties -- Miscellaneous Sculptures -- Architectural Fragments -- Yaksa Images  

Images of Female Devotees   
Mother and Child Images 
Heads of Devotees and Bodhisattvas 

7. stone and stone-carving : A study of types and techniques 

Stone 
Quarrying 
Carving Technique 

Dressing -- Detailing -- Carving Panels on One and the Same Plane -- Final Finish -- Grinding and Polishing -- Painting

8. Summary and Conclusions    

The Kausambi Region: Vatsabhumi 
Archaeological Sites and Excavations 
Art Tradition at Kausambi: Historical and Economic Background 
Buddhism in Kausambi: Archaeological Remains  
Buddhist Sculptures of Kausambi: A Resume 
Was There a Kausambi School of Art? 

Maurya Period -- Sunga period -- Kusana Period -- Gupta Period 

Art Tradition at Kausambi: Its Significance and Place in Indian Art 
Maps 

Plan of Ruins of Kausambi -- Location of Kausambi on Ancient Trade Routes  

Bibliography         
Index
  

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