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While most of the literature on Buddhist art focuses on its narrowly defined aspects, Leidy (curator, Asian art, Metropolitan Museum of Art; coauthor, with Robert A.F. Thurman, Mandala: The Architecture of Enlightenment) presents a very readable broader text, opening with a brief introduction to the life of Gautama Buddha and his teachings before going on to survey Buddhism's march across all Asia from its source in third century B.C.E. India and across Asia through to the 19th century. Organized roughly chronologically, the 15 topical chapters (e.g., pillars and stupas, Buddha image, caves, early Sino-Tibetan traditions) effectively integrate more than 200 exquisite photographs, mostly in color and some full-page, into Leidy's explication of how art communicated Buddhist traditions to the largely illiterate laity. Highly recommended for public, academic, and school libraries, even those already owning Dietrich Seckel's The Art of Buddhism.
—James R. Kuhlman