Ancient Indonesian sculpture, as yet a relatively unexplored area of research, is discussed in this volume from various angles. The nine contributions originate from an international symposium at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
Robert L. Brown formulates a set of rules that account for the way Indian art was transformed when adopted in Southeast Asian regions. Sara Schastok shows how the dating of Amaravātī style bronzes was influenced by colonial thinking. In comparing the northeast Indian and Javanese bronzes figurines, Susan L. Huntington concludes that although Javanese bronzes owe something to northeast Indian ones, each group has its own distinctive characteristics. Pauline Lunsingh Scheurleer’s contribution stresses the Javanese aspects of Javanese bronzes. Nandana Chutiwongs focuses on images of Avalokiteśvara in this manifestation as Great Compassionate Lord. A fragment of a bronze-ringed rattle leads A. de Vries Robbé to trace the development of this attribute of mendicant Buddhist monks from India, over mainland Southeast Asia, to Central and East Java. Moving to the great Buddhist monument in Central Java, the Borobudur, its structure and meaning are given a completely new interpretation by John C. Huntington. A northeast Indian iconographic model is proposed by J.A. Schoterman for the famous images of Amoghapāśa Lokeśvara and his retinue in the East Javanese temple Candi Jago. Finally, Marijke J. Klokke offers a new interpretation of the iconography of the East Javanese ‘portrait statues’.