One of the world’s most renowned experts on Ajanta is Prof. Dieter Schlingloff, who has studied the subject extensively. He has spent many years studying the themes of the Ajanta paintings in great depth, a prelude to future study. His forty-year quest for knowledge about the works of Ajanta has resulted in a magnificent body of work, which includes books and articles.
The present study captures the essence of his study onNarrative wall paintings, their literary sources, and cultural context. In Professor Schlingloffs own words, The ancient Ajanta narrative paintings are of comparable quality to contemporary Roman Pompeii paintingsthey are the sole testimonies of breathtaking storytelling on a wall elsewhere lost.
The monochromatic Ajanta frescoes, for example, provide a plain yet powerful message about the existence of moral and ethical conduct. The narrative wall paintings are thus the subject matter of the present book, which is divided into three volumes and focuses on the connection between text and image. The glory of ancient Indian culture and the high degree of its morality as revealed in the Ajanta paintings should become known throughout the world.