Buddhism and its art represent the one truly unifying factor of the entire Asian continent and has become a fundamental part of our shared world heritage. However, to draw a unique portrait of this art in a single work is a formidable undertaking due to the great plurality in traditions spanning different countries and regions over various epochs. Furthermore, the variability in the state of conservation of Buddhist monuments and their decorations provides additional challenges.
A passionate scholar of Buddhist art, Gilles Béguin has organised his synthesis in the form of a historical atlas. Therefore, together with photography, plans and reconstructions of the monuments and their artwork, this publication also contains previously unpublished cartography. The author takes the reader on an historical and cultural journey across the vast continent of Asia stretching from India, Sri Lanka and Gandhara to countries such as Thailand, Cambodia and Burma in Southeast Asia up to the Himalayan kingdoms of Nepal and Tibet before arriving at the far eastern civilisations of China, Korean and Japan.