ISBN 9788124602003,The Iconography of Architectural Plans

The Iconography of Architectural Plans



D.K. Printworld (P) Ltd.

Publication Year 2002

ISBN 9788124602003

ISBN-10 812460200X

Hard Back

Number of Pages 563 Pages
Language (English)

The Arts

Over the rolling centuries, Buddhism and Hinduism, two of the worlds oldest sustained faiths, came to evolve a complex, yet precisely defining, iconic language: not just for figural representations, but for the architectural plans of their temples and monuments as well- a language that allows interpretations of geometric proportions. Here is the first ever effort to brilliantly unravel the iconic idiom involved in the architectural plans of Buddhist and Hindu temples and monuments of India and the Indianized States of Southeast Asia. With his indepth surveys of diverse Buddhic and Hindic temples in India, Sri Lanka, Java (Indonesia), Kambuja, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and even Malaysia, the author shows how the basic element in their architecture: the PLAN- conceived within a cosmological framework- was fraught with iconographic import and input, necessitating the guidance of authoritative compendia, like the Manasara and the Mayamata, the arcane knowledge of the sthapati (priest-architect), and many other complex procedures which all were steeped in symbolism. In analysing the architectural plans of these temples, Professor Bunce also highlights the various related iconographic considerations, like orientation, basic geometric forms, construction methods, rules and ratios, the non-congregational necessity, the high place as a consideration as well as the cave- besides a number of viable influences which exert various amounts of control, e.g., textual, philosophictheologic, numerological, astrologicalastronomical, regionality and, most importantly, the mandala. Generously supported by visual material comprising as many as 400 figures and line-drawings, Professor Bunces book is veritably a monumental, off-beat exercise of enormous interest to iconographers as well as the historiansspecialists of South and Southeast Asian temple architecture.