An account in words and pictures of Mahayana Buddhism and its development in Tibet. It is also a presentation of Tibetan art, revealing works that are still mostly unknown to the public anywhere, especially in the West. The area drawn upon ranges from western Tibet to eastern Bhutan. With the aid of the text, which is in close juxtaposition to the pictures, the student is able to 'read' the items as originally intended, for these religious works of art were always conceived as 'thought-provoking picture-tools'. Thus to the Western reader they not only open up a new sphere of ancient art, but they also convey its spiritual meaning.
There are 142 illustrations in colour, all of them full of symbolic meaning: painted scrolls, frescoes, book illuminations, gilded bronzes, rare miniature paintings and sculptures in wood and stone.
Among the 372 illustrations in black and white there is a complete series of 300 Tibetan icons, showing the 'diamond path' of Mahayana Buddhism.
In all there are 514 reproductions of the mystic art of ancient Tibet, giving a clear survey of Buddhist culture in a region now threatened with extinction.
Text is clean and unmarked. There is significant wear to the dust jacket, including a tear, and the hardback has some wear and spotting.