About the Secrets of Ajanta Cave and Paintings. Part 3

After the 250 years, a new era of Ajanta paintings unleashed in the number 10 cave. Probably, those paintings of said caves performed either before or after the year 350. It snaps up the attention of viewers for the notion of the art of Gandhara, appraised in Indian traditional conception. One of the most notable examples accumulated by the experts is the round shaped halo, located behind the head of Buddha and other spiritual figures which they got from the Gandhara concept. The brush work is more matured.  

By Goran tek-en, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org

It is difficult to distinguish the political situation of the mentioned period; however, experts and historians have confessed around the impression of Gupta Dynasty of northern India that influenced the lifespan of southern India as well as in the creative activity of Ajanta. They specified the following number of caves painted in this era, - 16, 17, 4, 7, 11, 15. It was the time of sixth century AD. On that time, the place was dominated by the dynasty of Vakataka. As evidence, they found a stone in the cave, indistinctly sealed by the name of the son of a minister of the king’s court of Vakataka who ordered for the excavation of those caves in regards to the Buddhist mendicants. They too affirmed about the alley between Gupta and Vakataka dynasty since they manifested that once a time, an alliance had been made between two dynasties and as an outcome, a marriage took place between the prince of Vakataka and the princess of Gupta dynasty.


In the cave number 16, we easily able to recognize that the paintings of this cave attained a new label of artistry on that era; meanwhile in the cave of 17, we will be entertained by the fabulous concepts of composition. In that cave (17) we will be found a lot of storytelling paintings performed as the Jataka, - the stories of the pre-births of Lord Buddha. An amazing experience you will have while observing this cave. It just looks like an art gallery where the numerous narratives will be impulsively replying you concerning the pre-birth of Lord Buddha and the respective parts of such holy lifespan of a great spiritual leader. From all the walls; peace, compassion, love, clemency are swamping this secluded place. 

Having the determination of the historians; from this era, the influence of Lord Buddha had been dimming out and therefore, it was necessary to restart communication ostensibly. The excavation of this cave has followed the said motifs. 

It is the stone where sealed the name of the son of the minister of Vakataka found as an historical evidence. CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org

Number 1 and 2 caves are newer than other caves. Observing a subjective masterpiece where the Emperor second Pulakeshi inviting the ambassador of Persian king Khasru pervage; experts were concluded that all the paintings of those caves performed between the years of 626 to 628 AD. Instead of this masterpiece, the style and method of those paintings indicates the historical years mentioned above, moreover, historians also affirmed that the number 2 is far newer than number 1 cave. It’s regrettable that all of the paintings of number 2 cave have done in diverted mind and had a little engrossment on the work. Most of the paintings have done in a conventional way. Here the emotional arouse is altered in the scuffle. They remixed apparently the Chinese materials with Persian concept which eventually fall down the superlative form of Ajanta custom.  Comparing with the paintings of Tune Huang cave of China, Dr. Griffiths, however, pointed out some of the paintings of Ajanta which followed the same character, style and the concept of composition. Here the merit of those artists went away and they just followed the conventional methodology.  Probably those are ostensibly indicated that the impact of Buddhism was blown away on that era.   

Fortunately, Ajanta has been keeping up the histories of the seven centuries of Indian art. Some experts indistinctly supposed a name of the painter of number 9 and 10 cave was Nagarjuna and his team. In 5 or 6 century AD, another great artist had been performing in India in the dynasty of King Buddha Paksha bearing the name, - Bimbisara. On that time, the Indian art attained such highest label which proposed as the work of God! Indeed it was the glorious time of Indian history in the segment of art and sculpture.           


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Last updated on - 25.09.2023