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The Art of Buddhism: An Introduction to Its History and Meaningby Denise Patry Leidy
Synopses & Reviews
Chinese ceramics are among the most significant and widely collected decorative arts produced anywhere in the world, with a history that spans millennia. Despite the saturation of Chinese ceramics in global cultureandmdash;in English, the word andldquo;chinaandrdquo; has become synonymous with andldquo;porcelainandrdquo;andmdash;the function of these works and the meaning of their often richly decorated surfaces are not always readily apparent.
This new installment in the successful How to Read series enlightens readers on Chinese ceramics of all kinds, using highlights from the outstanding collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art as a teaching tool. Accessible to a general audience and written by an expert on the subject, this book explains and interprets 40 masterworks of Chinese ceramics. The works represent a broad range of subject matter and type, from ancient earthenware to 20th-century porcelain, and from plates and bowls to vases and sculptural figures. Lavish illustrations showcase these stunning works and the decorations that adorn them, including symbolic scenes, flowers, and Buddhist and Chinese historical figures.and#160;
This engaging and visually stunning primer on Chinese ceramics enlightens readers about their function, decoration, and interpretation.
As its teachings spread from the Indian subcontinent in all directions across Asia, Buddhism influenced every culture it touched—from <st1:country-region w:st="on">Afghanistan</st1:country-region> to <st1:country-region w:st="on">Korea</st1:country-region>, from <st1:country-region w:st="on"> <st1:place w:st="on">Mongolia</st1:place> </st1:country-region> to Java. Buddhist art is a radiant reflection of the encounter of the Buddhas 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 Leidys 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.
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 author of numerous articles, and coauthor, with Robert A. F. Thurman, of Mandala: The Architecture of Enlightenment.
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