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Buddhist Art and Architecture (World of Art) Paperback – May 17, 1993

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Product Details

  • Series: World of Art
  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; First Edition edition (May 17, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500202656
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500202654
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Reviewname on July 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
Fisher's book offers an accessible, well-organized overview of both the evolution and meaning of Budhist art and architecture for the uninitiated. Never having studied Buddhism or Asian History prior to a recent trip to Southeast Asia, I found the balance between general explanations of subject matter and geographic breakdown useful. Returning to the book upon return, it was clear that most of the major, recurring symbols observed (Budha's subduing of the Mara, other meditative and teaching postures, the sometimes uneasy juxtaposition of Hindu and Budhist structure and symbols, etc.) were mentioned in this survey.
The narrative is clear, if occasionally dry. The photographs are not, however, ideally located to match their corresponding texts, and it would have been helpful to have included in the captions a note about where the given object was located (rather than having to wade through a paragraph at the back of the book that does not even list the citations numerically). Still, the book is well indexed and the illustrations are well chosen.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Michael Gunther on October 31, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The 1993 edition of Fisher's "Buddhist Art and Architecture" was reprinted, with revisions, in 2002. The cover of the revised edition is like the 1993 edition (i.e. the Kansas Guanyin), but now framed within a diamond-shape which is inset into a black background. The text is current on recent scholarship, such as the role of aniconism in Early Buddhist art, and cosmological interpretations of Angkor Wat. Attention is paid to the organic development of Buddhist art styles as they evolved in being transmitted from country to country, although I wish that even more emphasis had been put on this.
The book is organized by region: of its 200 pages, approximately 40-50 pages each are devoted to India, China, Korea/Japan, and Southeast Asia. The book's wide area coverage is both an advantage and a disadvantage, since much has been left out. For example, there is only one paragraph on the life of the Buddha himself, and not even a mention of Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavillion), arguably Japan's most famous and beautiful architectural icon. I would also have liked to see a greater use of color illustrations (only 32 of 179, in the present edition).
I hope that readers who start with this book will go on to more in-depth treatments, such as the same author's excellent introduction to the Art of Tibet (Thames & Hudson, 1998).
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Tim Ciccone on May 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
I am an architectural historian with a fairly extensive knowledge of Buddhist architecture. Even though this is an introductory text, Fisher's book explained some things I've failed to find anywhere else. Another plus is that Fisher includes Buddhist art/architecture from every Buddhist country. Usually books of this type leave out countries for expediency. Though this book is short, Fisher touches it all.
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