Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Pair of Book Covers for a Buddhist Text

Pala period
12th century
North India and Tibet
Wood with traces of paint; decorative mounts of silver with gilt semiprecious stones, and gilt-copper alloy
Overall (each bookcover): 8 7/8 x 27 3/4 in. (22.5 x 70.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Cynthia Hazen Polsky, 2005
Accession Number:
2005.436.1a, b
Not on view
These unique, large-scale book covers illustrate the complex interrelationship between the Buddhist world of eastern India and that of Tibet during the "second diffusion," when Buddhism in Tibet was purified by renewed contact with Indian Buddhism. They are also fascinating as prototypical objects that help to explain the format and decoration of many Tibetan painted book covers. Nothing like them has survived in India, and they present a new facet of eastern Indian art of the Pala period.
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