By Walter Spink
Quantity 6 of Walter Spink's enormous and carrying on with examine of the Ajanta caves, with over 350 illustrations, explains the sluggish evolution of the site's architectural and sculptural good points in the course of Ajanta's remarkably short improvement (462-480 CE).
Walter M. Spink, Professor Emeritus of Indian paintings on the collage of Michigan obtained his PhD from Harvard college in 1954. His leader curiosity has entered upon the Ajanta caves in India, the place he had spent a long time, with aid from Bollingen, Guggenheim, Fulbright Foundations, NEH, and AIIS for his Ajanta: background and Development.
Naomichi Yaguchi, affiliate Professor, Kanazawa collage, Japan, has taken all the pictures for, and has been actively fascinated about discussions in regards to the quantity.
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Extra resources for Ajanta. History and Development. Vol. VI
Even from the first these emblematic motifs were auspiciously filled with figures of loving couples, yakshas, and the like. At the bottom of the shafts, just above the high square bases of the rear center pillars of Cave 3 at Aurangabad, protective kirttimukhas have been carved, again looking back to the notably beautiful motifs of this same type on the rear center pillars of Cave 1. Although not carved on the equivalent pillars in Caves 21 and 23, they may well have been painted instead, as was earlier the case in Cave 17.
However, if the shift of control to the Asmakas lasted only a single year—and perhaps only a matter of days or weeks—we can understand how the site’s caves were perhaps safe from such unwanted incursions merely by virtue of the very rapid transfer of power. I have argued that the aggressive Asmakas, after rejecting the overlordship of the weak new Vakataka emperor (Sarvasena III) in 478, had effectively destroyed both the “Vakataka” and the “Asmaka” patronage at the site by the end of that same tragic year—leaving the site to the pious attentions of a host of “uninvited” local devotees and monks.
Increasing Complexity in Shaft Design We have seen how, in the course of the evolution of pillar forms, the older octagonal shafts, in about 466, yield to more functional square-based forms. From this there was no going back. But now, probably in large part due to the immediate influence of the inspired planners of the local king’s Cave 19, instead of the standard and severe old-fashioned eight facets running the length of the pillar shafts, the upper section of the shafts begin to be adorned with carefully ordered multiple divisions, starting with a doubling to sixteen and then thirty two facets, often alternating in their positions, and sometimes laid out on the diagonal.