Images, Attributes and Motifs - Studies in Early Indian Art and Numismatics (Set in 2 Volumes)

Images, Attributes and Motifs - Studies in Early Indian Art and Numismatics (Set in 2 Volumes)

Product ID: 16237

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Author: Arundhati Banerji
Publisher: Sundeep Prakashan
Year: 1993
Language: English
Pages: 613
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8185067856


An attribute is the most appropriate emblem to distinguish an icon of a deity-without which an image remains incomplete. It is artist`s imagination that takes a concrete shape to arouse consciousness to the existence of divinity. In this artistic composition, motifs are the constituent features for embellishments that manifest some kind of divinity.

This book in its four sections presents a comprehensive study on the stylistic and typological evolution of image, attributes and motifs in early Indian art and numismatics. In section one, the author focuses attention on the iconology and significance of two armed images of Ganesa whose sculptural depictions in Saiva temples represent his semi-devine status. The study reveals that such forms have a wide occurrence in sculptural art either independently or in association with other Hindu deities.

Section two which traces the origin, morphology and typological evolution of vajra as a weapon or a motif in early Indian art and numismatics, also narrates its literary and sculptural association with Hindu, Buddhist and Jaina deities. From her study it appears that the delineation of vajra is both functional and decorative, depending on the concept of artists through the ages. Third section of the book discusses the wide archaeological evidence of terracotta art forms which were create both as an important item of everyday use as well as a popular craft to meet the demands or rural, semi-rural and urban classes.

Significantly it shows that the terracotta art traditions continue along with newly acquired fashions and models as the continuity and change mark the course of development and transformation of various symbols and iconographic forms of various pantheons, apart from sociological aspects reflected in dresses, ornaments, furnitures, arms, weapons, musical instruments etc., depicted on the coins indicating a coveted social life and propensities of the ruled. The book contains appendix, exhaustive bibliography, an index besides a map, line drawings and 311 photographic illustrations.





1. The Two-Armed Ganesa/Different Epithets of Ganesa as Mentioned in Ancient/Texts/Visual Representations/Sculptural Manifestations and Classification/Annotation
2. Vajra/Origin and Description of Vajra According to Ancient Texts/Association of Vajra with Hindu, Buddhist and Jaina Deities/Formal Features/Extra-Indian Parallela/Conclusion
3. Indian Terracotta Art Expression/Genesis and Early Development/Variation and Change/Growth and Expansion/Function and Meaning
4. Early Indian Coin Motifs/Evolution of Indian Coins/Coin Motifs of Religious Importance/Sociological Aspects as Gleaned by the Coin Motifs/Conclusion

1. Mudra
2. Asana
3. Vahana
4. Ayudha
5. Coin Legends in Kharoshthi of Early Foreign Rulers in India