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Elephant Kingdom

Elephant Kingdom

Sculptures from Indian Architecture

By (author) Vikramaditya Ram


  • A great gift for both elephant and architecture lovers alike
  • Provides the stories behind the buildings
Full Description

Elephants occupy a special place in the life and art of India. Since ancient times, they have been treasured and pampered as the ultimate beasts of burden, venerated as the vehicles of gods and kings and even worshipped in their own right. Their legendary attributes of strength, intelligence, nobility and longevity are eulogized in myth, epic and popular literature. In figurative and decorative arts, elephants provide an enduring fascination. Elephant Kingdom traces the myriad stories and symbolisms behind India’s much-loved animal through its depictions in architectural sculpture. At the heart of the study is a collection of over sixty color photographs from a diversity of antique settings, many of them in remote parts of the subcontinent. At centuries-old temples, monasteries, forts and palaces, elephants flank ceremonial entrances, enrich columns, form balustrades to stairways or stand as enigmatic sentinels of vast courtyards. Some are legendary characters in tales of dreams and salvation; others enact scenes from a faithfully observed natural history. Some transport kings and heroes into battle and the hunt, others are celestial messengers of rain, fertility and good fortune. From monumental freestanding sculptures to finely-worked narrative friezes, the warmth and energy of these depictions bear testimony to the achievements of countless anonymous artisans.

Mapin Publishing
23rd Oct 2007
Paperback / softback
USA & Canada
9.12 in x 11.12 in
128 Pages
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