The Art of Buddhism: An Introduction to Its History and Meaning

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As its teachings spread from the Indian subcontinent in all directions across Asia, Buddhism influenced every culture it touched—from Afghanistan to Korea, from Mongolia to Java. Buddhist art is a radiant reflection of the encounter of the Buddha’s teachings with the diverse civilizations that came under their sway. It is also an intriguing visual record of the evolution of Buddhist practice and philosophy over a period of more than two millennia.

More than two hundred photographs provide the visual context for this tour of the world of Buddhist art. Included in the rich variety of forms are architecture and monumental art, statuary, paintings, calligraphy, fresco, brushwork, and textile arts. Denise Leidy’s guide is the perfect introductory text for all those intrigued by this splendid aesthetic tradition. It also an essential resource for all who seek to understand Buddhist art as teaching.

As its teachings spread from the Indian subcontinent in all directions across Asia, Buddhism influenced every culture it touched—from Afghanistan to Korea, from Mongolia to Java. Buddhist art is a radiant reflection of the encounter of the Buddha’s teachings with the diverse civilizations that came under their sway.

Additionally it is an intriguing visual record of the evolution of Buddhist practice and philosophy over a period of more than two millennia. More than two hundred photographs provide the visual context for this tour of the world of Buddhist art.

Included in the rich variety of forms are architecture and monumental art, statuary, paintings, calligraphy, fresco, brushwork, and textile arts. Denise Leidy’s guide is the perfect introductory text for all those intrigued by this splendid aesthetic tradition. It also an essential resource for all who are searching for to keep in mind Buddhist art as teaching.

Reviews

“A work of sustained scholarship from a distinguished art historian whose command of Buddhist art, coupled with her keen eye for its iconographic and aesthetic traditions, has made accessible to readers—for the first time in decades—a body of knowledge a good way to form the core of any informed understanding of Buddhist culture and traditions from a global perspective. This book is destined to turn into a classic.”—Mimi Hall Yiengpruksawan, Professor of History of Art

“A cogent and focused introduction to the subject. Clear links between [Buddhist] art and practice are consistently and intelligently presented all the way through.”—Buddhist Art News

About the Author: Denise Patry Leidy is curator of the Department of Asian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. She is the writer of a large number of articles, and coauthor, with Robert A. F. Thurman, of Mandala: The Architecture of Enlightenment

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