The Ajanta Caves: Artistic Wonder of Ancient Buddhist India
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The Ajanta caves can be considered among the wonders of the ancient world, both in terms of their artistic and their spiritual value, and this book captures the beauty and detail of the remarkable murals. If I were to make one criticism, it would be that it emphasizes the murals at the expense of largely neglecting the sculptures, which are magnificent in their own right. The book might better be titled, "Murals of the Ajanta Caves." I ordered it without seeing it first, and I was a little disappointed to see how few photographs were included of the sculptures. Nevertheless, the beautiful and clear photographs of the murals alone are worth the price of the book, and I'd certainly recommend it to anyone interested in the Ajanta caves, or in ancient Indian or Buddhist art.
This book offers the best color photographs of the Ajanta caves that I have seen. The text offers an excellent explication of the history and iconography of the images. Having been to the caves, I can honestly say that you see the paintings more clearly in this book than at the caves themselves. (This is due to crowded conditions and poor lighting at the caves.) This book is an important adjunct to any study of Buddhist art and inconography. If you're planning to travel to Ajanta, buy this book first.