Temples of Gold by Santi Leksukhum - Photographs by Gilles Mermet
Seven Centuries of Thai Buddhist Paintings
The exuberant wall paintings found in the Buddhist temples of Thailand enchant the eye and spirit with their subtle colour, lyrical line, and vivid depiction of mythological and secular scenes inspired by ancient texts. These little-known masterpieces, reproduced here in exquisite detail, speak to us across the centuries with joy, humor and grace.
Santi Leksukhum’s text traces the complex history of these paintings. It examines the development of their distinctive style, from the arrival of Buddhism, to the overwhelming influence of the royal workshops of Bangkok and the incorporation of Western techniques as Thailand opened to the West in the mid-nineteenth century.
The renowned French photographer Gilles Mermet made several expeditions to Thailand to photograph these magnificent murals especially for this volume. An appendix recounts the major Buddhist texts, including the Three Worlds, the Ten Great Jatakas, or birth tales, and the Life of the Historical Buddha. The book will fascinate art lovers, students of Buddhism, cultural historians, armchair travelers, and all who want to enter the enchanted world of a rarely seen civilization.
Over 300 Colour Illustrations