Sculpture: Entranced Anatomy

Only a century ago, a British archaeologist wrote with assurance: "There is no temptation to dwell at length on the sculpture of Hindustan. It affords no assistance in tracing the history of art, and its debased quality deprives it of all interest as a phase of fine art." This pronouncement seemed to mean that 4,000 years of Indian sculpture was damnably hard to categorize, and that its frank eroticism dismayed Victorian minds. But today's scholars are drawn to it as surely as bees to an orchid. Indian sculpture in the period from 2500 B.C. to A.D. 1500 is a...

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