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Lo Bue, Erberto F. (1981) Himalayan sculpture in the XXth century : A study of the religious statuary in metal and clay of the Nepal Valley and Ladakh. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The thesis of this work is that the study of XXth century Himalayan art is not only a subject worthy of serious historical research in its own right, but may also help to shed more light on the history of Tibetan and Himalayan art in general. It is divided into a foreword and five chapters. The Foreword (pp. I-XIV) justifies the choice of the subject, discusses the problem of copying and explains the methods followed in the research. Chapter One (pp. 1-46) is a comprehensive account of the relationship between Newars and Tibetans at cultural, artistic, social and economic levels from the VIIth century A. D. to the present day. Chapter Two (pp. 47-105) introduces and provides brief accounts of the lives of thirteen leading Newar and Ladakhi Sculptors. The biographical data include details of the artists chief or more representative works, with their dates, size, materials, techniques and locations. Chapter Three (pp. 106-196) is concerned with the study of statuary metals and alloys. It defines the use of and discusses the term "bronze" (3 pages), reviews early brass, copper and bronze statuary from northern India in the light of the available metallurgical analyses (10 pages) and deals with recent metallurgical analysis of Tibetan and Himalayan metal images (6 pages), with particular reference to the Cleveland Buddha (6 pages). After summing up the technological implications of the data taken into consideration (3 pages), it describes the metals and alloys used in great detail, with the location of the mines, methods of extraction, trade, use in statuary, and Tibetan terminology: copper (H pages); zinc (9 pages); brass (7 pages); tin (2 pages); bronze (13 pages); silver (4 pages); gold (9 pages); iron (3 pages); and mercury (3 pages). Tibetan literary sources as well as Western information gathered in situ are used extensively. Chapter Pour (pp. 199-237) describes the modelling techniques (6 pages), investment and removal of the wax (3 pages), a timed casting (4 pages), and the removal from the mould and cleaning of the cast (4 pages). Nine pages are devoted to gilding and five to the problem of forgeries and conclusions. Chapter Five (pp. 238-279) is concerned with the sources used by the artists and discusses their iconography (11 pages), iconometry (10 pages), and problems of style (12 pages).

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:04

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