By Walter M Spink
Quantity 5 includes, in addition to introductory reviews, "cave via cave" courses. one that, very in short, describes the nature of every cave and its patronage, is meant to be important for the final customer to the location. the opposite, very precise, discusses the placement and peculiarities of every collapse relation to the general, yr via yr, improvement of the positioning. This quantity additionally encompasses a entire set of cave plans, and numerous illuminating charts, graphs, outlines, and maps.
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Additional info for Ajanta : history and development.Vol. V, Cave by cave
The partially broken narrative frieze over the left court cell shows Prince Siddhartha’s confrontation with the realities of age, sickness, and death—the shrouded corpse representing the latter being just partly visible at the left. Over the opposite court cell, the story continues with the prince’s renunciation, where he is cutting oﬀ his own hair and sending his grieving horse back to the palace, before entering upon his ascetic search. Signiﬁcantly, the whole story can be read metaphorically as the ideal prince’s appropriate spiritual odyssey, its ultimate goal the releasing of Knowledge invested in the various Buddha ﬁgures on the major facade capitals; the more unusual of these are the Temptation by Mara on the far right pillar capital, and the Oﬀering of Milk-rice by Sujata on the right pilaster.
As we would expect in Cave 1, which was started in 466 with a shrine already as part of the plan, the widening of the central pillars, to provide an axial focus, was already built into the instructions sent down from the capital. At the same time, Cave 1 itself was not caught up in the craze for pillared cell complexes at the porch ends, even though its porch end cells can be dated to 468 on the basis of the B mode ﬁttings. 5 4 Needless to say, stupas as opposed to caitya halls often were fronted by images, notably in Gandhara and in SE India, many years before they appear in these rock cut halls, which surely were inﬂuenced by such previous conjunctions.
Secondly, by analyzing and comparing the development of the forms in this cave vis-à-vis other caves at the site, we can see that this interruption of work on Cave 1 not only occurred at a very late point in the site’s life, but was immediately followed in other caves by a situation of trauma and disruption, paralleling the rapid and ﬁnally total collapse of the site’s patronage, dramatically evident over and over at the site: the sequence of the paintings done in the rear of Cave 2 during the last three or four years of the site’s patronage is merely one case in point.
Ajanta : history and development.Vol. V, Cave by cave by Walter M Spink