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Article Published In Vol.11 (Jan-Feb 2023)

Indigenous Influences on Ajanta Paintings and Expansion of Ajanta influence on subsequent Indian cultures and tradition of wall painting in Rajasthan

Pages : 77-86, DOI:

Author : Samina Zia Sheikh

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This study investigates indigenous influences on Ajanta Paintings which is also known as Ajanta Style and by some historians Gupta Style. When Ajanta paintings are considered as Gupta style that are described in reference to northern Indian Influences from 4th to 8th century whereas before Guptas Ajanta paintings had many indigenous influences to reach its perfect form. Madanjeet Singh asserts that Ajanta paintings have regional influences and considering them Gupta style is half truth. The term refers only to the northern Indian influences, the more precisely to the drawing of sacred images in a broad-spectrum, nonetheless based on facts numerous influences shaped the art of Ajanta paintings and present whole life of India in panorama. Empirical analysis clearly shows the contribution of regional styles before appellation of Ajanta style which further influenced later styles of Indian Paintings and murals and can be analyzed in Rajputana paintings as well as murals. Satavahanas Vakatakas, Guptas, and Chalukyas of Badami all contributed in shaping marvels of Ajanta cave art. Though historical sources are not enough to be decisive to label Ajanta paintings any specific style but one can pursue the periods to know the origin, existence and expansion during which caves were carved. To reach a point that how various dynasties that were in power, based on religious, cultural, and artistic reasons contributed in this art and made Ajanta paintings prominent. Today Ajanta paintings elucidate the history of contributors and also prove that how Ajanta paintings influenced paintings and murals of later periods and cultures and contributed in shaping and affecting them till today.

Keywords: Ajanta Paintings, Gupta Style, Jātaka, shadangā, indigenous influences.



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