Buddhist Art: An Historical and Cultural Journey. Gilles Beguin.

Buddhist Art: An Historical and Cultural Journey
Translation by Narisa Chakrabongse

River Books. 9.75 x 12.25", 400 pp., 650 color illustrations, bibliography, index, cloth, d.j., Bangkok, 2009. Item #36492
ISBN: 9789749863879

Buddhism and its art is perhaps the one truly unifying factor of the entire Asian continent and has become a fundamental part of our shared world heritage. To draw a unique portrait of this art in a single work is a formidable undertaking due to the great plurality of traditions spanning different countries and regions over various epochs. Furthermore, the variability in the state of conservation of Buddhist monuments and their decorations provides additional challenges.

A passionate scholar of Buddhist art, Giles Béguin has chosen to organize his work in the form of an historical atlas. Thus together with beautiful photography, plans and reconstructions of the monuments and their magnificent works of art, this book also contains previously unpublished cartography. The author takes the reader on an historical and cultural journey across the vast continent of Asia stretching from India, Sri Lanka and Gandhara to countries such as Thailand, Cambodia and Burma in Southeast Asia up to the Himalayan kingdoms of Nepal and Tibet before arriving at the far eastern civilizations of China, Korea and Japan.

The book is not only a visual feast but also a far-reaching introduction to Buddhist beliefs and practices.

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