This is a rare work which gives in great details the forms and accurate measurements of a large variety of Indian sculpture, along with the spiritual vision and philosophy underlying it. This information is based on the ancient texts and the long ancestral tradition and actual experience of the sthapatis, the architects and sculptors of ancient India. The book is divided into three parts. The first section of ten chapters deals with the philosophy and spiritual thought that is the basis of all Indian art forms. The next set of eight chapters deals with coiffures, ornaments, weapons, the use of symbols as accessories, the sculptural representations of flora, animals and birds, and the fashioning of images in metal and katusarkara. The last set of 18 chapters presents the basic rhythms and measurements used in traditional sculpture. These chapters can serve as a guide-book for a practising sculptor.
A special feature of this presentation is the large number of illustrations and drawings done with great authenticity, care and beauty. The confluence of the ancient texts in Sanskrit and Tamil, the knowledge and artistic skill of a sthapati whose entire life has been devoted to this work from his childhood, and the technical background and deeper search of a modern architect, have resulted in an extraordinary book.
About the Author:
Dr. V. Ganapati Sthapati was born at Pillayarpatti, a village in Tamil Nadu. He hails from an illustrious family of traditional architects and sculptors, with an unbroken lineage of centuries, who built the great Brihadeeswara Temple at Tanjore.
Dr. Sthapati was the Principal of the Govt. College of Architecture and Sculpture at Mamallapuram, near Chennai, for many years. Now he has founded the Vaastu Vedic Trust and created a research institution called the Vaastu Vedic Research Foundation. He has designed the palatial library and administrative block of the Tamil University at Tanjore, the Muthiah Mundram at Madurai and several other buildings and complexes, which are looked upon as visual musical forms. He is also the master sculptor and builder of the huge 133 feet statue of Thiruvalluvar in stone, which stands off the shore in mid-sea at Kanyakumari, at the southern tip of India. He has organised several international seminars and workshops in India and abroad on the Vaastu tradition. He is the author of many books related to the ancient science and art of Indian architecture and sculpture.
At present he is also Professor and Head of the Dept. of Sthapatya Veda, in the World University of Traditional Indian Science and Technology and Culture at Chennai.