A scholarly work covering the second half of the Ancient Sanskrit silpa text Vastuvidyasastra' devoted to Mahayanic monastic Architecture and the Art of image-modelling.
The Citrakarmasastra covers the second half of the ancient Sanskrit silpa text Vastuvidyasastra devoted to Mahayanic monastic architecture and the art of image-modeling. The first half of the text dealing with monastic architecture was published with an introduction and an Englishtranslation in 1989 by Sri Satguru Publications as No. 67 of their Bibliotheca Indo-Buddhica Series. The present volume presents a very methodical treatment of the subjects of Buddhist iconometry, Iconography and Modelling Clay Images for the image-house of a Buddhist monastery. In its fifteen chapters the work discusses all aspects of image-modelling from the selection of Trees for the preparation f the wooden image-core to the Painting of the eyes, finishing touch given to a newly made image.
An Image is viewed as a close limitation of the human body. It is, therefore, endowed with all Essential Components of the human body such as the skeleton, nerves, arteries and veins, flesh, Skin and complexion in the form of the image core, astabandha glue, clay, limestone paste and pigments. All these are dealt with in successive chapters in fair detail. Particularly interesting are the sections on the arrangement of statues inside the image-house, Construction of the image-core, Buddhist iconography and the rituals connected with the eye-opening ceremony.
The Citrakumasastra thus happens to be the only comprehensive work so far discovered, which deals with the ancient art of modeling of clay images of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and together with its companion volume on monastic architecture, claims to be the most important treatise on the ancient Buddhist art of the Mahayana School.