Sacred Visions: Early Painting in Tibet

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9780870998621: Sacred Visions: Early Painting in Tibet

Devoted to a period of extraordinary cultural achievement - from the 11th to the mid-15th century - when Tibet became known as the Buddhist holy land - this book accompanies a major touring show opening at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art in October 1998. It includes a collection of exquisite "thankas" (paintings) that incorporated traditions from eastern India, Nepal and China as well as the Tibetans' own Buddhist imagery. Though Tibet was closed to the West until the early-20th century, many thankas have survived in Western collections and these have been brought together on exhibition for the first time. The book also features scholarly essays that provide historical, stylistic and technical information.

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From Library Journal:

Buddhist art reflects the culture that created it, and the wide divergence of expression in Buddhism is well illustrated by these two catalogs of Tibetan and Japanese art. Not only are the two countries far distant, but their understanding of the precepts of Buddha are radically different. The Tibetan paintings presented in Sacred Visions are attempts to elucidate the mysteries of Tantric or Esoteric Buddhism. Intricate mandalas, multilimbed deities linked in sexual union, serene monks, and images of the many concepts of Buddha are well illustrated in vibrant color photos, each accompanied by a page of religious explanation and artistic analysis. The vivid colors and intricate designs are well conveyed, but slick paper and modern printing don't do justice to the velvety surface of the originals. The Japanese treasures from Nara are so beautifully photographed that it is a pity the photographers are not credited; their contribution matches that of the three writers. Conveying the three-dimensionality of sculpture in photographs is a subtle and exacting art, and the Cleveland Museum has created an exhibition catalog that will have lasting value by virtue of its attention to the quality of photography and printing. The broader range of both the text and the objects illustrated?sculpture, paintings, ceramics, furniture, and bronzes?will bring a broader audience to Buddhist Treasures from Nara, while the narrow focus of Sacred Visions will increase its value to scholars of religion and art.?David McClelland, Philadelphia
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Steven M. Kossak; Jane Casey Singer; Robert Bruce-Gardner; N. Y.) Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York; Museum Rietberg
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