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Iconography of the Derge Kanjur and Tanjur

Josef Kolmas, Vedams, 2002, Reprint, 280 p, ISBN : 8179360016, $85.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)


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Iconography of the Derge Kanjur and Tanjur/Josef Kolmas

Contents: Preface. Introduction. 1. The Derge Kanjur and Tanjur. 2. Places where the Derge Kanjur and/or the Tanjur can be found (A synopsis). 3. Synoptic tables of the Derge Kanjur and Tanjur in the possession of the Library of the Oriental Institute in Prague. 4. The Derge Kanjur and Tanjur: select bibliography. I. Texts of the legends: 1. The Kanjur. 2. The Tanjur. 3. Index-volumes. II. Illustrations: 1. The Kanjur. 2. The Tanjur. 3. Index-volumes. Index of names.

"The Iconography of the Derge Kanjur and Tanjur reproduces 648 illustrations from the Derge edition of the Tibetan Canon, and carries an introduction by Prof. Josef Kolmas of the Oriental Institute of Prague (Czech Republic). The illustrations are of the same size as the originals and have been photographed by a specialist Mr. Frantisek Petivoky. Derge was a first rate center of spiritual life and learning from the 18 century. It was renowned for the skill of its carvers, artists and printers. The carving of the Derge Canon began in 1729 and was completed by 1744. This rich pantheon pictures Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Tantric deities, Arhats or Apostles, great gurus, outstanding figures in Indian and Tibetan history as well as Buddhist philosophers and masters. It helps us to enlarge the horizons of the iconographic analysis of Buddhism. Prof. Kolmas presents in this volume an impressive array of xylographed sketches of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in their serenity, Gods and Goddesses in their charm, teachers and historic personages who appear in the 316 volumes of the Tibetan Canon xylographed at Derge. They open up new avenues of research. Conscious of their distinctive value, Prof. Kolmas has applied scientific acumen and meticulous care to the work which is new for historians of art. Herein are a few hundred illustrations which are not to be seen in published pantheons. The versified legends under each illustration have been deciphered, and the historic content of the Derge Canon has been clarified. It provides a new and rich source for historians of Buddhist art and will be an impressive aid to identify the deities on painted scrolls.

As the world comes to admire and appreciate the eloquent art heritage of Tibet, this basic work will be of interest and aid to students and amateurs of the rich partrimony of the sacred art of Tibet, Mongolia, Bhutan and of other Lamaist regions." (jacket)

Prof. Lokesh Chandra is a renowned scholar of Tibetan, Mongolian and Sino-Japanese Buddhism. He has over 360 works and text editions. His books include Buddhist Iconography of Tibet, Dictionary of Buddhist Iconography, Mudras in Japan and Tibetan-Sanskrit Dictionary. Presently he is Director, International Academy of Indian Culture, New Delhi.

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