Lecture by Gilles Béguin, Honorary General Curator of Heritage - Former Director of the Cernuschi Museum

On the occasion of the publication ofEllora, Buddhist, Hindu and Jain shrines (Milan, Ed. Les 5 Continent, under the supervision of Christophe Hioco and Luca Poggi), its author, Gilles Béguin, will speak for us about this emblematic Indian site, located in the State of Mahârâshtra. The place spreads over more than two kilometers from numerous monasteries, shrines and temples entirely carved into the rock. The rock architecture is indeed one of the great originalities of Indian art and Ellora constitutes its apogee. Paradoxically, this grandiose achievement is less known than its rival Ajanta, located a few dozen kilometers away. This point is paradoxical since Ellora juxtaposes places of worship belonging to the three major Indian religions: Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. These thirty-four shrines, dug between the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries, characterized by a great architectural and decorative richness, shelter thousands of sculptures, some of the most beautiful achievements of Indian heritage, emblematic of the post-gupta aesthetic, mixing movement and passion, each religion having its own expression.

The extent and complexity of this set, the dim light illuminating the reliefs unevenly, some panels remaining in almost total darkness, have slowed their publication. Thanks to ultra-sensitive equipment, Iago Corazza, the photographer of the work, finally allows enthusiasts as well as the curious to enter the depths of this exceptional site. This unprecedented first photographic cover made available to the international public will be a landmark. The text illuminates all these visions that emerge from the rock walls. After the publication by the same team of Khajuraho in 2017, lovers of Indian art can once again enter a major archaeological site, mixing iconographic diversification and aesthetic achievement.

After the conference, Gilles Béguin will sign his work (€ 60, launch price, instead of € 70, payment exclusively in cash or by check).


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