To scholars in the field, the need for an up-to-date overview of the art of South Asia has been apparent for decades. Although many regional and dynastic genres of Indic art are fairly well understood, the broad, overall representation of India's centuries of splendor has been lacking. The Art of Ancient India is the result of the author's aim to provide such a synthesis. Noted expert Sherman E. Lee has commented: "Not since Coomaraswamy's History of Indian and Indonesian Art (1927) has there been a survey of such completeness." Indeed, this work restudies and reevaluates every frontier of ancient Indic art – from its prehistoric roots up to the period of Muslim rule, from the Himalayan north to the tropical south, and from the earliest extant writing through the most modern scholarship on the subject.
This dynamic survey-generously complemented with 775 illustrations, including 48 in full color and numerous architectural ground plans, and detailed maps and fine drawings, and further enhanced by its guide to Sanskrit, copious notes, extensive bibliography, and glossary of South Asian art terms-is the most comprehensive and most fully illustrated study of South Asian art available.
The works and monuments included in this volume have been selected not only for their artistic merit but also in order to both provide general coverage and include transitional works that furnish the key to an all encompassing view of the art.
An outstanding portrayal of ancient India's highest intellectual and technical achievements, this volume is written for many audiences: scholars, for whom it provides an up-to-date background against which to examine their own areas of study; teachers and students of college level, for whom it supplies a complete summary of and a resource for their own deeper investigations into Indic art; and curious readers, for whom it gives a broad-based introduction to this fascinating area of world art.