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Antiquarian Books, Maps, Prints & Photography Antiquarian Books, Maps, Prints & Photography ROCKCUT TEMPLES OF INDIA
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Exterior of Chaitya Cave No 19 , Vihara Cave and Exterior of Great Chaitya Cave. Three Original hand Drawn and tinted Lithographed by T.C.Debdin from a Sketch by James Fergusson Esq, Published by J.Hogarth, 5 Haymarket, Printed by M&N Hanhart 1848.
JAMES FERGUSSON (1808 – 1886)
Indian architecture and archaeology attracted the Scotsman, James Fergusson, to such an extent that he gave up his business activities after a few years in Calcutta.
By 1835, he was able to pursue the studies that subsequently earned him the distinction of being a leading authority on Indian Architecture. Many years of traveling included visit’s to Orissa in 1836 and western India two years latter. He also explored parts of Rajasthan and Southern India. He recorded information about numerous Monuments and made drawings of a using a camera Lucida which like the camera obscure would reflect a landscape im – age on to the sheet of drawing paper.
After returning to London in 1845. Fergusson published a series of scholarly papers and books on this subject. By comparing his observations of other scholars, he worked out a more accurate architectural chronology that had been achieved previously. This resulted in his history o Indian and Eastern architecture, first published in 1876.
Two of his earliest publications, however, contain lithographs from his sketches made in India. His illustrations of the rock – cut temples of India appeared in 1845.
A picturesque illustration of ancient architecture in Hindustan was first published in 1848 and again in 1852. Fergussons sketches for both volumes ware drawn and lithographed by the watercolorist, Thomas Colman Dibdin. His Picturesque illustration contains views of places in Rajasthan, Southern Indian and the temples at Bhubaneshwar in Orissa. Fergusson noted:
The Great temple of Bhubaneshwar, known as the Lingaraja, is one landmarks in the style, it is perhaps the finest example of a purely Hindu temple in India…The outline of this temple in elevation is not, at first sight, pleasing to the European eye; but when once the eye is accustomed to it, it has a singularly solemn and pleasing aspect.