Ajanta, History and Development: Arguments About Ajanta by Walter M. Spink

By Walter M. Spink

Quantity starts off with writings by way of probably the most vital critics of Walter Spink's conclusions, interspersed together with his personal responses, utilizing a radical research of the good Cave 26 to help his assertions. the writer then turns to issues of patronage, and to the marvelous undeniable fact that, in contrast to so much different Buddhist websites, Ajanta used to be only "elitist," built via lower than a dozen significant consumers. Its short heyday traumatically ended, even if, with the demise of the good emperor Harisena in approximately 477, growing political chaos. Ajanta's apprehensive consumers now joined in a headlong rush to get their shrines committed, on the way to receive the anticipated advantage, ahead of they fled the sector, forsaking their caves to the priests and native devotees last on the now-doomed website. those "intrusive" new buyers now stuffed the caves with their very own helter-skelter votive choices, paying no heed to the well-laid plans of the years prior to. an identical development of patronage is to be present in the redecoration of the sooner Hinayana caves, the place the cautious making plans of the paintings being performed in the course of Harisena's reign is unexpectedly interrupted through a number of person votive donations. the amount ends with a brand new and valuable enhancing of Ajanta inscriptions by means of Richard S. Cohen.

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Additional info for Ajanta, History and Development: Arguments About Ajanta (Handbook of Oriental Studies/Handbuch Der Orientalistik 2, 18-2)

Example text

Consequently, Cave 26RW’s shrine, when it was finally conceived in 468, was being shifted to a totally anomalous position at the center of the little cave’s left wall when time ran out with the Recession, the effects of which were precipitously sudden in the caves of the now-expelled Asmakas. The fact that these “violated” wings of Cave 26 were already significantly underway by 466, and summarily abandoned in that same year, alone proves that these two caves (and consequently the Cave 26 complex as a whole) must have been started by 462 or very shortly thereafter.

30 volume iia, chapter two Cave 25, the upper right wing of the Cave 26 complex, was probably started before 26RW (the lower right wing), for work would have progressed generally downward (as well as from front to rear) when the whole complex was being exposed. It almost certainly was planned in the simplest manner, with its porch pillars connecting directly with the floor. 7 We can see that the pillars, originally planned (and only roughed out) with heavy octagonal shafts, as would have been expected in the early 460s, were later being recut in a more modern style when all Asmaka patronage was interrupted late in 478.

After providing evidence here that the Cave 26 complex is, “at the core” one of the very earliest undertakings at Ajanta, I shall then provide a resume of its development (and will explain its long period of abandonment) during the troubled course of the site’s history. It might only be mentioned that the whole site follows a similar pattern, wherein the development of the caves is controlled by political realities. In nearly every case (other than the very late and often minor undertakings Caves 3, 14, 22, 23A, 24A, and 28) all of the various caves were started very early, and then were either totally 1 Most earlier caves were blocked out before any decoration started.

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