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Book Detail

Scientific Preservation of Ajanta Murals
Author : Manager Rajdeo Singh
ISBN : 978-91-7320-160-8
Edition : 2015
Language : English
Size & Pages : 29 cm, PP, 188, Illus Col.
Publisher : Agam Kala Prakashan
Format : Hardbound
Price : Rs. 3400


About the Book:


This book deals about scientific investigation about mural art of Ajanta reflecting two decades of research. This discovery of Ajanta and measures adopted by various art lovers in early 19th Century at has direct impact on its conservation as detailed in the book. The ancient Indian painting recipe and mural art techniques employed at Ajanta has been incorporated in the book. Detailed studies about nature and characterization of mud mortar of Ajanta / Ellora which support the survival of mural art have been elaborated. The source of raw materials for the preparation of Ajanta / Ellora mud plaster, addition of various aggregates, proteinaceous adhesive and vegetal remains in the plaster for its preparation has been detailed in the book. An elaborative study about the discovery of Cannabis Sativa (Hemp or Bhang) in the mud plaster of Ellora has been discussed. The book also highlights the data for cross sectional study of painted plaster; the analytical data obtained through the instrumental analysis of the pigment and plaster layers using XRF, XRD, FTIR, Raman Spectroscopy, SEM, thermo – hygrograph, Lux meter, Protimeter, Carbon dioxide analyzer, noise meter etc, in details. This detailed investigation has helped in the preparation of matching mud / lime plaster at Ajanta / Ellora for restoration purpose. The impact of visitors on cave murals of Ajanta like variations of temperature, humidity, noise level, carbon dioxide level etc, within the caves besides impact of light on the painted plaster, degradation of murals caused by application shellac varnish, insect activity on the murals have been discussed. The scientific cleaning methods employed at Ajanta for the removal of 19th century shellac coating, soot, dust, dirt etc, from the painted surface has been discussed along with photograph of before / after cleaning activity. The recent cleaning efforts undertaken in the Hinayana cave of Ajanta has been specifically highlighted under unseen Ajanta.


This book also discuss about the application of saline technique for the consolidation of sculpture of Ajanta / Ellora. 


About the Author:


Dr. Manager Singh, M. Sc, Ph.D, Superintending Archaeological Chemist, ArchaeologicalSurvey of India, Aurangabad has received his master degree in chemistry from Gorakhpur University and Ph.D in chemistry on “Scientific investigation of Ajanta Paintings and Performance evaluation of materials”  from Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad, Maharashtra. He was associated with the preservation of Ajanta cave murals from 1997 – 2008 and carried out extensive research on the materials and technique of mural art of Ajanta / Ellora. He has published about four dozen research papers in the field of scientific conservation of our art works mostly in international journals. He has been covered extensively by Discovery channel, Japanese T.V and German print media for his innovative work on cleaning of hinayana painting of cave no. 10, Ajanta under unseen Ajanta. Prior to his service in Archaeological Survey of India, he has also served in Geological Survey of India, Bangalore and Naval Science & Technological laboratory, Visakhapatnam. He has been received three months ICCROM training on stone Conservation in Venice on stone conservation and visited many countries to deliver lectures on scientific conservation of Murals in India and characterization of ancient materials with the help of scientific analysis for synthesis of compatible restoration materials.



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