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Buddhism: Flammarion Iconographic Guides (Flammarion Iconographic Guides)

by Louis-Frederic, Louis Frederic, Nissim Marshall

Buy the book: Louis-Frederic. Buddhism: Flammarion Iconographic Guides (Flammarion Iconographic Guides)

Release Date: October, 1995

Edition: Paperback


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Buy the book: Louis-Frederic. Buddhism: Flammarion Iconographic Guides (Flammarion Iconographic Guides)

The Value of an Iconography

I'm surprised at the low ratings for this book. It is invaluable as a book to consult. It isn't a "read from cover to cover" book . It's like an encylopaedia to consult whenever one comes across an obscure reference to a rarely mentioned manifestation of some Buddha. And as near as I've been able to determine this is the only iconography of Buddhas left in print. There was an excellent one of actualy statues from places like the Forbidden City, but that was back in the '60's.

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Unfortunate attempt to do a pan-Asian Buddhist Iconography

A long time scholar of Japanese Buddhist art, Frederic's work on Japan is somewhat useful for Japanese Buddhism. Relative to Japan, the author mostly summarizes and translates from the Ki Tosa no Hidenobu's Butsu Zuzo-I (originally published in 1783) as an e-hon) which was one of the world's first major studies of Buddhist iconography. However, the rest Frederic's work on the Buddhist iconography of the rest of Asia, was essentially beyond his skills. The book is either is minimal or, on occasion, totally inadequate. If the work had been presented as simply an iconography of Japanese Buddhism, and not expanded into a pan-Asian "Iconographic guide," one might have recommended it with some enthusiasm. Unfortunately, someone must have made the decision that a new general iconography of Buddhism was in order (an idea with which I agree). To have expanded FredericÕs work into such an attempt has proven to be unfortunate in the extreme. The mistakes of the book have already begun showing up in my studentÕs work and the fundamental misconceptions contained in the book are quite unfortunate. I am afraid that the book is not to be recommended for any serious work by any one except scholars who are already equipped to evaluate the accuracy of statements made by Frederic.

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