Reading Buddhist Art

Reading Buddhist Art

An Illustrated Guide to Buddhist Signs and Symbols

Book - 2002
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Book News
McArthur is curator of East Asian art at the Pacific Asian Museum, Pasadena, California. Here she offers a basic introduction to Buddhist iconography and symbolism without delving into the intricacies of the religion itself or providing a chronological or geographical survey of the vast body of art associated with Buddhism. The many illustrations are monochrome. Annotation (c) Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Blackwell North Amer
Buddhism and its arts have existed for more than 2500 years, weaving their way with monks and pilgrims through broad areas of the Asian continent and across seas, mingling with the arts and styles of indigenous cultures. This book explores the complex imagery and teachings of Buddhism, whose iconography and symbolism can often seem as challenging as the search for enlightenment itself.
All the principal symbols, objects and figures of worship are gathered here in a rich, informative and easy-to-use book that will serve equally well as an art-lover's reference tool and as an introduction to the principles of the religion itself.
After introducing the early history of Buddhism and its subsequent spread, the book presents the main figures of worship - the Buddhas, bodhisattvas, deities, protectors of the faith and historical personages - and explains their origins, characters and identifying features. Every major sign, symbol and ritual object of Buddhist worship is clearly described and illustrated, and there is also an overview of major Buddhist sites throughout the world.
Photographs and specially commissioned two-colour line drawings and maps accompany the text, with subject names given in all relevant languages (Sanskrit, Tibetan, Thai, Japanese, etc.) in standard English transcriptions. With a comprehensive glossary of key Buddhist terms and a well researched bibliography, this book will be indispensable to anyone with an interest in Buddhism and its arts.

Publisher: London : Thames & Hudson, c2002
ISBN: 9780500510896
Characteristics: 216 p. : ill. ; 24 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at SSFPL

To Top