The volume is the outcome of an effort to bring into print the proceedings of an International Seminar on The Art of Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent : In Cross-Cultural Perspective (1 Century CE-14 Century CE) organised by the Department of History of Art, National Museum Institute, in March 2007. The work contains scholarly and thought-provoking papers by distinguished art-historians, historians and other leading intellectuals of the world. These scholars come from reputed universities and institutions of Asia, Europe and America. What makes the volume distinctive is not only the variety of themes that it embraces but the intimate glimpses which it provides into some of the lesser-known but otherwise important aspects of Central Asian Art. The essays, twenty-eight in number, encompass diverse aspects of the Art of Central Asia, and thus cover a large geographical expanse. While some of them offer a scholarly discussion of the sources of Buddhist art in Central Asia and the scribes and artists who flourished in the region, some others provide an in-depth analysis of the Buddhist art as it thrived in such important regions as Gandhara, Kucha, Kizil and Dunhuang. Again, there are papers which provide an interesting insight into the cross-cultural facets of Central Asia, connections between Buddhism and West Asia, and the monasteries and shrines that existed in the region. The study of Buddhist and Hindu iconography is the theme of some other stimulating papers.
The strikingly illustrated book is a significant contribution to the field of Central Asian Studies and is valuable for students and scholars alike.