Prof. Dieter Schlingloff is one of the leading experts on the paintings of Ajanta. He has been engaged with the task of identifying the subject matter of the Ajanta Paintings in rich detail-a pre-requisite for further research. His steadfast research for last forty years constitutes a brilliant corpus of books and articles on the paintings of Ajanta. The present work comprises the quintessence of his research on the narrative wall paintings, their literary sources and the cultural background.
In Prof. Schlingloff's own words, "The narrative paintings of the ancient period of Ajanta are of no less quality than the contemporaneous paintings of Roman Pompeii, and like those, they are the only testimonies of the marvelous art of narrative wall-painting elsewhere lost. The glory of ancient Indian culture and the high standard of its morality as revealed in the Ajanta paintings should become known worldwide".
The narrative wall paintings thus forms the subject matter of the present publication arranged in three volumes where the main focus remains on the relationship of the text and the image that will hopefully stimulate further discussion and investigation in similar fields.
An English translation of the 2000 edition of "Ajanta, Handbuch der Malereien = Ajanta, handbook of the paintings".
Professor emeritus Dr. Dieter Schlingloff, formerly head of the Department of Indology and Iranian Studies at the University of Munich, Germany, is a specialist in Buddhist Sanskrit literature, ancient Indian culture and art. More than forty years of the author's researches have been concentrated on the narrative Ajanta paintings.