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Worlds of Transformation: Tibetan Art of Wisdom and Compassion by Marylin M. Rhie, David P. Jackson, Robert A. F. Thurman. Tibetian buddhism, buddhist art, tibetian art. Books, bookstore, dvd, video store.
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Worlds of Transformation: Tibetan Art of Wisdom and Compassion

by Marylin M. Rhie, David P. Jackson, Robert A. F. Thurman

Worlds of Transformation: Tibetan Art of Wisdom and Compassion. Buy this book, download free 17 pages More Info | Buy the Book
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Opinion of Eric Pyle from Higashi Ku, Hiroshima Japan

This book is a companion volume to the same authors' "Wisdom and Compassion", which came out a few years ago. Both are sponsored by the Tibet House in New York and both have the same layout, typography, and approach. As far as I can see there are no duplications between them, though both books are quite large. People who loved that book, as I did, will definitely want this one too, since it is basically more of the wonderful same.

This volume focusses on one vast private collection of Tibetan painting. There are two hundred featured paintings, all shown in full-page reproductions, many with full-page details as well, showing the detail of the tiny figures in the backgrounds which are half of the fun of these pictures. There is some repetition from the first book in the text, but this book goes into more detail about who the figures are and what they are doing.

If there is a prize for quality of reproductions in an art book this book should win it. Every shot is beautiful -- nothing too dark, everything evenly lit. It is impossible, of course, to reproduce the soft powdery glow of the Tibetan pigments on silk, so the pictures look different here than they did in the museum. The printing process necessarily gives them a gloss that the originals don't have. That said, the book is still a beautiful object in its own right. Exactly THAT rosy pink next to exactly THAT acid orange next to exactly THAT slate blue are what make these paintings engrossing from the first minute, even before you get down to work and figure out what's going on in them.

If you want a gift for the budding Buddhist in your family, or if you want to start with only one giant volume on Tibetan art, I would advise you to start with the first book, "Wisdom and Compassion", for the simple reason that it includes sculpture as well as painting, and those little gold demons and tiny brass Buddhas are not to be missed. Real fans, though, and anyone serious about learning all they can about Tibetan art, will want both. Also people like me -- that is: gluttons for color.

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