Art and Architecture in Ladakh

Cross-cultural Transmissions in the Himalayas and Karakoram


Editors: Erberto Lo Bue and John Bray
Art and Architecture in Ladakh shows how the region’s cultural development has been influenced by its location across the great communications routes linking India with Tibet and Central Asia. Edited by Erberto Lo Bue and John Bray, the collection contains 17 research papers by experienced international art historians and architectural conservationists, as well as emerging scholars from Ladakh itself. Their topics range widely over time, from prehistoric rock art to mediaeval Buddhist stupas and wall paintings, as well as early modern castle architecture, the inter-regional trade in silk brocades, and the challenges of 21st century conservation. Taken together, these studies complement each other to provide a detailed view of Ladakh’s varied cultural inheritance in the light of the latest research. Contributors include: Monisha Ahmed, Marjo Alafouzo, André Alexander, Chiara Bellini, Kristin Blancke, John Bray, Laurianne Bruneau, Andreas Catanese, Philip Denwood, Quentin Devers, Phuntsog Dorjay, Hubert Feiglstorfer, John Harrison, Neil and Kath Howard, Gerald Kozicz, Erberto Lo Bue, Filippo Lunardo, Kacho Mumtaz Ali Khan, Heinrich Poell, Tashi Ldawa Thsangspa and Martin Vernier.
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EUR €155.00USD $202.00

Biographical Note

Erberto Lo Bue did research in Ladakh since 1978. He taught Indian and Central Asian Art History, and Tibetan as Associate Professor at Bologna University. His publications, including Wonders of Lo (Marg, 2010), are related chiefly to Tibetan and Himalayan art. John Bray is President of the International Association for Ladakh Studies (IALS). His earlier publications include Ladakhi Histories (Brill, 2005), as well as research papers in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Zentralasiatische Studien and The Tibet Journal.

Review Quote

'The book is an ambitious effort that brings together a wide range of conversations about Ladakhi’s heritage of art and architecture. The two editors must be commended for their ability to allow each topic the space it deserves, while still managing to keep the book together as a coherent whole. A key strength of the book is the critical tone and the diversity of sources it taps to develop its arguments.(...) In addition to the past, the book also dwells on current issues, while also keeping an eye on future possibilities and challenges. This is best epitomised by the concluding chapters that discuss the importance of heritage conservation in the present and the future.' Sunetro Ghosal, Ladakh Studies, 33 (September 2015) 'The volume will become an indispensable reference work for all academic libraries focussed on the HImalayas and Tibet as well as on India.' Amy Heller, Arts Asiatiques, 70 (2015).

Table of contents

Introduction – Erberto Lo Bue and John Bray 1. Ancient Petroglyphs of Ladakh: New Discoveries and Documentation - Tashi Ldawa Thsangspa 2. Embedded in Stone – Early Buddhist Rock Art of Ladakh - Phuntsog Dorjay 3. Historic Ruins in the Gya Valley, Eastern Ladakh, and a Consideration of Their Relationship to the History of Ladakh and Maryul - Neil and Kath Howard. With an Appendix on the War of Tsede (rTse lde) of Guge in 1083 CE by Philip Denwood 4. An Archaeological Account of Ten Ancient Painted Chortens in Ladakh and Zanskar - Quentin Devers, Laurianne Bruneau and Martin Vernier 5. The Chorten (mChod rten) with the Secret Chamber near Nyarma - Gerald Kozicz 6. The Dating of the Sumtsek Temple at Alchi - Philip Denwood 7. The Iconography and the Historical Context of the Drinking Scene in the Dukhang at Alchi, Ladakh - Marjo Alafouzo 8. The Wood Carvings of Lachuse. A Hidden Jewel of Early Mediaeval Ladakhi Art -Heinrich Poell 9. The mGon khang of dPe thub (Spituk): A Rare Example of 15th Century Tibetan Painting from Ladakh - Chiara Bellini 10. Chigtan Castle and Mosque: a Preliminary Historical and Architectural Analysis - Kacho Mumtaz Ali Khan, John Bray, Quentin Devers and Martin Vernier 11. Lamayuru (Ladakh) – Chenrezik Lhakang: The Bar Do Thos Grol Illustrated as a Mural Painting - Kristin Blancke 12. The Lost Paintings of Kesar - John Bray 13. Tshogs zhing: a Wall Painting in the New ’Du khang of Spituk (dPe thub) - Filippo Lunardo 14. From Benaras to Leh - the Trade and Use of Silk-brocade - Monisha Ahmed 15. Conservation of Leh Old Town – Concepts and Challenges - André Alexander with Andreas Catanese 16. Revealing Traditions in Earthen Architecture: Analysis of Earthen Building Material and Traditional Constructions in the Western Himalayas - Hubert Feiglstorfer 17. Conservation of Architectural Heritage in Ladakh -John Harrison Bibliography List of Contributors Index


All interested in the history of Indo-Tibetan art, iconography, architecture, archaeology and textiles, and anyone concerned with the cultural history of Ladakh and neighbouring regions.