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the many-splendoured delights of Ajanta compiled by Subramanian Swaminathan


September 2007

Depiction of Movement

Vishnu-dharmottara says: "He, who paints waves, flames, smoke... according to the movement of the wind, is a great painter."

Ajanta painters took great pleasure in composing scenes involving movement with great zest.

The floating clouds, the swaying foliage and apsaras and gandharvas flying swiftly through the air, produce a fantastic movement when Indra and his entourage descent to worship the Buddha.

Indra's descent, Cave 1

A mad elephant was let loose on the Compassionate One by his envious half-brother. Elephant on the rampage is shown in great dynamism.

Subjugation of Nalagiri, Cave 17

This charging bull on the ceiling in Cave 1 is an example in depicting movement

Fighting Bulls A painting on a pillar, Cave 1