Protecting Wisdom: Tibetan Book Covers from the MacLean Collection

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9783791347561: Protecting Wisdom: Tibetan Book Covers from the MacLean Collection
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This elegant volume is the first comprehensive published study in English of the finely carved wooden covers designed to protect fragile Tibetan Buddhist texts. From the 11th through 14th centuries, Tibetan monks worked tirelessly to transcribe the life and teachings of the Buddha onto paper. Highly skilled craftsmen then covered these pages with wooden boards that had been elaborately and painstakingly carved, gilded, and painted. The MacLean Collection, based in Chicago, has significant holdings of these extremely rare and ornately decorated objects. The first and most comprehensive of its kind, this lavishly produced, oversize volume features numerous illustrations of magnificent book covers from Tibet as well as several examples from other cultures. The volume tells the fascinating history of these objects, examines the materials from which they were carved, and traces stylistic influences from Kashmir, India, Nepal, and China.

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