© Rupert Arrowsmith 2015, all rights reserved
Arrowsmith is that rare thing, an art historian who is equally well informed about the traditions of ‘West’ and ‘East’, ‘modern’ and ‘pre-modern’.
Arrowsmith is well versed in most, if not all, the many aspects of global artistic production referenced in this book and writes knowledgeably about Asian, African, and Pacific objects as well as about London Modernism […] It is a rare scholar who can move with such expertise across these fields, each with its own historiography.
Rupert Arrowsmith has rendered us a great scholarly service by his painstaking editing, copious, up-to-date informative notes, and an engaging biographical introduction, to William Empson’s The Face of the Buddha. Arrowsmith brings to life a fascinating episode in transcultural encounters, how individuals cross cultural frontiers and develop elective affinities with societies that are not their own. In many ways, Arrowsmith himself is an ideal person to undertake the task. He too has crossed borders, living in various parts of Asia, participating in the mysteries of Buddhism as a bhikkhu, or Buddhist monk.
Anyone interested in Buddism or oriental art will find Empson's book fascinating, and Rupert Arrowsmith's Introduction complements it perfectly: he is Boswell to Empson’s Johnson […] Occupying practically as much space as the text, it is its indispensable companion.
Chortens at Dochula, Bhutan t© Rupert Arrowsmith 2015, all rights reserved