Customer Review

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, December 19, 2001
This review is from: The Art of Southeast Asia: Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Burma, Java, Bali (World of Art) (Paperback)
The Good -- Covers a lot of territory in a short space. Rawson points out the most important features of the most significant works, and traces artistic developments leading up to them. For each country, Rawson provides a brief historical overview, running from the earliest known history through the the periods of (in his view) the most significant artistic acheivements. This overview is surprisingly helpful in trying to understand the significance that the works (particularly the monuments) had in the societies in which they were created. Rawson also makes some insightful comments about how religious doctrines have shaped artistic development. If you are going to Southeast Asia, this book will give you a basic idea of what to look for. If you are beginning a serious study of Southeast Asian art, this will give you an overview and a context in which to place further studies.
The Bad -- Covers a lot of territory in a short space. As a result, Rawson cannot mention much more than universally acknowledged masterpieces. With the exception of one modern Indonesian painter and a few 14th Century Thai bronzes, one would gather from Rawson that art stopped in Southeast Asia about 1200. This book was originally published in 1967, and a number of Rawson's opinions and his general attitude seem somewhat out of date. Rawson does not like his buildings "overly" decorated, which seems to me a matter of taste -- a taste clearly not shared by most of the societies he describes. He provides almost no description of the "craft" arts, and very little cross-cultural comparison.
The Ugly -- The photographs of the architectural monuments are almost all atrocious. It's conceivable that these were the best available in 1967, but Thames & Hudson should have done something to update them when they reprinted the book in 1993. In addition to simply upgrading the quality of the photographs, some of the monuments have been significantly restored in the intervening years, so more modern pictures would also provide a better of idea of what the buildings were intended to look like. Worst of all, a number of the photographs are split over 2 pages -- the binding down the middle makes it almost impossible to get a decent look at the picture without breaking the book's back.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

3.0 out of 5 stars (3 customer reviews)
5 star:    (0)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
Used & New from: $0.03
Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: Chicago, IL United States

Top Reviewer Ranking: 7,534,321