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Home / Art and Culture / Restored Ajanta caves paintings to be on display

Restored Ajanta caves paintings to be on display

As the discovery of Ajanta caves completes 200 years, Sir JJ School of Art will conduct a first-of-its-kind exhibition of 21 restored paintings of the caves.

art-and-culture Updated: Jan 08, 2020 13:54 IST
Ankita Bhatkhande
Ankita Bhatkhande
Mumbai
Restored Ajanta caves paintings to be on display.
Restored Ajanta caves paintings to be on display.(Trip Sparrow/Instagram)
         

As the discovery of Ajanta caves completes 200 years, Sir JJ School of Art will conduct a first-of-its-kind exhibition of 21 restored paintings of the caves. The exhibition will be held on the college’s premises between January 9 and 17 and will showcase the original paintings of John Griffiths, an acclaimed orientalist artist, who replicated the cave paintings which date back to 1872.

The institute will exhibit the paintings as part of its special event ‘Ajanta caves — 200 years of rediscovery’. There will also be a two-day-long seminar on January 9 and 10 to talk about art history and aesthetics with reference to the caves.

“In 1844, the first set of paintings of the caves was made by Robert Gill, which was destroyed in a fire at London in 1866. After this, John Griffiths, the then principal at JJ school, spent nearly two decades in replicating the paintings at the caves along with few students from the school,” said Vishwanath Sabale, dean, Sir JJ School of Art. The paintings have been restored by the National Research Laboratory for Conservation of Cultural Property (NRLC) and will be open for the public from January 9. Along with this, 33 paintings by students and 10 sculptures inspired by the caves will also be displayed at the event. “We took our master’s students to the caves in December. They were briefed about the archaeological and artistic significance of the caves and got to take inspiration from the style and come up with their own ideas,” added Sabale.

 

Griffiths, who was commissioned the project of making paintings of the frescoes from the Ajanta caves by the Indian government, has archived his seminal work in his book —‘The Paintings in the Buddhist Cave Temples of Ajanta, Khandesh India’. The institute is in the process of restoring the book and nearly 100 other celebrated works on art that are in its custody.

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