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Ganga-Brahmaputra & Beyond: Exploring Art and Iconography of Eastern and North-Eastern India

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Item Code: HAN975
Author: Gautam Sengupta
Publisher: Primus Books, Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 2023
ISBN: 9789356877658
Pages: 510 (Throughout B/W Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.5x6.5 INCH
Weight 802 gm
Book Description
About the Book

Like the heterogeneity of the idyllic landscape of the Ganga-Brahmaputra valleys, the art historical traditions of the region manifest elements of bewildering diversity and multiplicity in form and media. Based on empirical researches over four decades across eastern and north-eastern India, Ganga-Brahmaputra and Beyond: Exploring Art and Iconography of Eastern and North-Eastern India explores these diverse creative traditions, visualized and successfully strategized by premodern silpins or craftsmen. Spanning a chronological period from the second and first centuries BCE to the early twentieth century CE, the chapters in this volume, grouped under three themes-'Eastern India: A Journey across Time'; 'Revisiting North-East India'; and 'Interrogating Artists' Choice'-investigate newly discovered data and interrogate existing material through new questions.

About the Author

Gautam Sengupta is former Professor, Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology, Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan. He was previously Director General, Archaeological Survey of India (2010- 13) and served the Government of West Bengal as Director, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums for two decades. He also taught history at the North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, for five years and was Guest Faculty in the Departments of Museology and Archaeology at the University of Calcutta. Professor Sengupta has edited a number of volumes on South Asian archaeology and co-authored two volumes: Eloquent Earth: Early Terracottas in the State Archaeological Museum, West Bengal and Vibrant Rock: A Catalogue of Stone Sculptures in the State Archaeological Museum, West Bengal.


THE ESSAYS INCLUDED in the volume were written over four decades and published in different journals and volumes between 1985 and 2019, the unifying factor being its geographical focus: all the articles relate to the eastern and north-eastern parts of the Indian subcontinent. In terms of present-day political parlance, this space is represented by the Indian provinces of Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Assam, Tripura and the country of Bangladesh. This probably accounts for the somewhat open-ended title of the book.
Essays in this volume are broadly arranged in three groups: (i) Eastern India: A Journey Across Time, (ii) Revisiting North- East India and (iii) Interrogating Artists' Choice. A brief statement about the essays might not be out of place. The first section relates to Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Bangladesh. The second section pertains to the visual material from Assam and Tripura. The third section reflects our concern with the material in this case different rock types used by the artists in eastern and north-eastern India in the early period. The essays in this section draw upon intensive field studies conducted by my friend from the Geological Survey of India, Sambhu Chakraborty, a distinguished geologist. It is primarily because of his thorough understanding of different rock types and their characters that we could venture into this largely unknown terrain.

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