Temples of Gold: Seven Centuries of Thai Buddhist Paintings
More Info |
Buy the Book
Look inside: download free 5 pages
Even a confident lover of much Asian art may be surprised by the splendor and variety of the visual arts in Thailand. In Temples of Gold: Seven Centuries of Thai Buddhist Paintings, Bangkok art historian Santi Leksukhum (trans. by Kenneth Whitehead) demonstrates how Thai art evolved, what to look for in the paintings and how to see it; religious conventions, political events and several types of perspective are all explained. Photographer Gilles Mermet's (Mosaics of Roman Africa) 120 handsome, full-color images capture the splendors and oddities of Thai Buddhist murals, panels and architecture from sometimes-contorted, colorful battles and crowd scenes to elegant gold-and-black meditating Buddhas, surrounded by light or suspended amid the waves.
The exuberant paintings found in the temples of Thailand enchant the eye and spirit with their vivid depictions of mythological and everyday scenes taken from ancient Buddhist texts. These little-known treasures, reproduced here in exquisite color, are masterpieces of visual storytelling that speak to us from across the centuries with joy, humor, and grace. Sankti Leksukhum's text traces the complex history of these paintings, focusing on the fourteenth through the nineteenth centuries. He presents the essential Buddhist texts underlying the images, deepening our appreciation of these magnificent works of art, and examines the development of their distinctive style, from the arrival of Buddhism, to the overwhelming influence of the royal workshops of Bangkok, to the incorporation of Western techniques as Siam was opened to the West in the mid-nineteenth century. Golden Temples of Thailand will appeal to a wide audience, captivating art lovers with its superb reproductions, and art experts with its insightful text. The transformation of classic Buddhist texts into epic panoramas will enthrall students of Buddhism. The splendid colors, patterns, and inventive forms will inspire designers. And all those who want to revel in the exotic world of a rarely seen civilization will be fascinated. 120 color illustrations.