This richly illustrated volume is a study of the temples created in East Java between the tenth and sixteenth centuries, filling an important scholarly lacuna. The arts of Central Java, home of the great Buddhist monument, Borobudur, and Hindu Prambanan, have been given thorough scholarly attention. The architectural and sculptural treasures of the East Javanese kingdoms of Kadiri, Singasari, and Majapahit, are little known in comparison, yet beautiful and significant in Indonesian history. The author presents the major sites of these three historical periods, and discusses their architecture and sculpture. The many narrative reliefs illustrating sacred and secular literature have been painstakingly identified. The reader is thus able to follow their stories and understand where, why, and how they fit into the visual program planned for each temple and their relation to historical events and the wayang theater. These descriptions are augmented by extensive site summaries. Superb color photography supports the text throughout and is a major contribution in itself. The book contains a wealth of information that is not available all together in any other publication. Not only are the descriptions of the monuments valuable, but the author identifies numerous sculptures in collections around the world that were once associated with the East Javanese temples discussed. The attempted reconstruction of sculptural programs at the sites is extremely important. To understand an ancient Javanese stone sculpture, knowledge of its original cultural context is required rather than its current location on a stand in some museum. Today, with the number of fakes appearing on the art market, such associations are invaluable for dating and authenticating stone sculpture said to come from unidentified East Javanese sites. The author's understanding of indigenous Javanese ancestor-worship traditions and their integration with foreign Indian religious beliefs is especially helpful, as it explains many of the unusual local features of East Javanese sculpture. Highlighted is the coexistence of Hindu and Buddhist deities that appears to be a uniquely East Javanese religious trend. Worshiping Siva and Buddha: The Temple Art of East Java is a welcome and significant addition not only to Javanese studies but also to architecture, art history, comparative religion, Buddhist, Hindu, and Southeast Asian studies.
Arts & Photography, Sculpture, General,