Human And Divine: The Hindu and Buddhist Iconography of Southeast Asia Art from the Claire an Aziz Bassoul Collection
This volume presents 150 objects of Hindu and Buddhist iconography from the Bassoul Collection of Southeast Asian art. There are accounts of Hinduism and Hindu art, of the Buddha story and the spread of Buddhism and Buddhist art in Southeast Asia, all written for the art lover, as well as explanatory commentaries, provenance details and colour plates for each of the artifacts.
The subject of this book is neither Hinduism nor Buddhism. Its main concern is about the Hindu art and the Buddhist art of Southeast Asia in their representation of the Hindu and Buddhist divinities. It is divided into 3 parts.
Part One, dealing with Hindu art, begins with an analysis of the spread of Hinduism and of Hindu art in Southeast Asia, followed by a presentation of the principal gods of Hinduism: Shiva and Vishnu, each in his multiple manifestations and in combination with his respective consort(s), sons and mount. After Shiva and Vishnu, we present HariHara, who is the combined form of Vishnu and Shiva and constitutes a very interesting divinity from the perspective of iconography. Part One continues with the presentation of the god Brahma, before presenting the Trimurti, which is the trilogy of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. Secondary Hindu divinities, as well as Apsaras, Rishi and Dvarapalas are discussed before ending Part One with the presentation of the unidentified Hindu divinities of the collection.
Part Two, dealing with Buddhist art, starts with the Buddha story, followed by a presentation of the 3 main schools of Buddhism and the spread of Buddhism and of Buddhist art in Southeast Asia. The following chapters discuss the different representations of the Buddha, the bodhisttvas, and Buddhist Triads. Part Two ends with the presentation of Hevajra, considered to be the major divinity of Vajrayana Buddhism.
Finally, Part Three of the book presents the miscellaneous objects of the collection that cannot be categorized under either Hindu art or Buddhist art.
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