cover image Lost Kingdoms: Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast Asia

Lost Kingdoms: Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast Asia

John Guy. Metropolitan Museum (Yale Univ., dist.), $65 (336p) ISBN 978-0-300-20437-7

This companion catalogue to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2014 exhibit of the same name is the first to engage with the artistic and religious heritage of Southeast Asia in order to situate first-millennium Southeast Asian art in the broader context of Asian art. Beautifully produced and visually diverse, this rich volume is organized thematically, with sections on identity creation in Southeast Asia, the influence of the Brahman world and state, and cult art. Brief scholarly essays preface the images, many of which are reproduced in color photographs, and all of which are accompanied by detailed catalogue entries. The book opens with two highly instructive essays by Met curator Guy that analyze the influence of Indic culture upon Southeast Asian art and outline early Southeast Asia’s central kingdoms; other notable essays discuss Buddhist law in artistic representation and the impact of new archeological discoveries in central Thailand. The book’s strength is in its balance of splendidly reproduced art works and scholarly insight on the art of the early cultures of Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysian, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. 360 illus., 304 in full color. (May)