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Tufts University

Publication Date

Fall 2016

Program Name

India: National Identity and the Arts


The artwork of the Ajanta cave temples has had a major impact on the definition of Indian artistic identity and upon the modern art movement in India. This paper describes the history and construction of the caves and their specific stylistic and ideological influence of and interpretation by various key figures of the modern art movement. The first major projects to produce copies of the Ajanta frescoes (those by Major Robert Gill, John Griffiths and his students, and Lady Herringham and Abanindranath Tagore's students) are surveyed and put in context. Various early art-historians and critics are examined with respect to their theories and thoughts about to Ajanta. They include early thinkers of the Bengal school such as E. B. Havell, Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, and Abanindranath, and further critics of the school, such as Amrita Sher-Gil.


Arts and Humanities | Asian Art and Architecture | Asian Studies | History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology | Other History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology


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