Rupert Arrowsmith

all content © Rupert Arrowsmith 2018, all rights reserved


Modernism and the Museum: Asian, African and Pacific Art and the London Avant Garde

Rupert Arrowsmith

Oxford University Press 2011

Ground-breaking study on the debts of early Modernist literature and sculpture in London to Asian, African and Pacific artworks in the city’s museums - main focuses are the design and hidden ideology of the British Museum; Ezra Pound and Japanese, Chinese and Korean art; Jacob Epstein and Eric Gill and Indian, Assyrian, African and Pacific sculpture, Gaudier Brzeska and Japanese sculpture; T.E. Hulme, rightwing ideology and extra-European art - described by Amitav Ghosh as “a marvelously rich work”

at OUP        Amazon       Free PDF

The Face of the Buddha

William Empson
edited and introduced

by Rupert Arrowsmith

Oxford University Press 2016

English poet and literary critic William Empson’s famous lost book on Buddhist sculpture was lost for sixty years - this first edition features a highly acclaimed introduction and substantial footnotes by Rupert Arrowsmith and more than a hundred illustrations, many in colour - described by the Telegraph as “one of the books of the year”

at OUP         Amazon         Related Article


Cosmopolitanism and Modernism

London University School

of Advanced Study

Popular one-hour lecture on the nature of cosmopolitan exchange of ideas between cultures with a concentration on the love-triangle between Japan, India and the Modernist poets and sculptors of the West during the early 20th Century

Watch Video Online - Click Here

Repainting Ajanta:  The Global Impact of the Frescoes and their Copies

Oxford University

Talk given at the Divinity Schools of Oxford University on the various attempts to restore and produce copies of India’s Ajanta frescoes, and the paintings’ influence on Modernism in India, in Japan and in the West

Listen to Oxford University Podcast


The Way to Bhutan

Wasafiri Magazine 31/1

Poem written in honour of the Fourth King of Bhutan to open the Mountain Echoes Literary Festival in Thimphu, Bhutan, in 2015

Page PDF         in Word         Reading


Myanmar Monasteries Offer Bootcamp for the Spirit

USA Today

USA Today broadcast about the second time I was ordained as a monk at a Buddhist monastery in Myanmar

Watch on USA Today         Related Article


The Transcultural Roots of Modernism

Modernism / Modernity

Discusses the nature of transcultural aesthetic exchange between Asia and Europe during the early 20th Century and xplores the influence of Japanese visual art - especially nishiki-e woodblock prints - on Modernist literature in the West

Free PDF - Click Here

Spring Pictures: The Assymetric Art of William Empson

The Times Literary Supplement

Considers the influence of global Buddhist sculpture and thought on William Empson during the early 1930’s,, discovering in the process a painting by the poet and literary critic himself and a globalizing love story

Free PDF - Click Here

Jacob Epstein: The Indian Connection

The Burlington Magazine

The first ever research to expose the substantial debts of Jacob Epstein’s earliest Modernist sculptures to Hindu, Buddhist and Jaina art from India - shocking how regularly this article and the related stuff in Modernism & the Museum gets plagiarized by other academics

Free PDF  - Click Here

An Indian Renascence and the Rise of Global Modernism

The Burlington Magazine

Explores through previously unpublished letters the painter and cultural networker William Rothenstein’s trip to India in 1910-11, wherein he visits the Ajanta Caves, paints with the Tagores and influences Modernist artists back in London

Free PDF - Click Here

Being a Monk in Myanmar: Personal Transformation in a Changing Country

CNN World Report

Short article about the second time I was ordained as a monk in at a Buddhist monastery in Myanmar

Read Online at

Angelo da Fonseca: Portrait of an Eclectic Genius

Art India Magazine (cover story)

Critical introduction to the tragically overlooked work of the painter Angelo da Fonseca, who is only now being recognised as a key artist in the Indian Modernist canon

Free PDF - Click Here

A Meeting with Angelo da Fonseca

Mundo Goa (Ed. V Menezes)

My research on Angelo Fonseca became an unexpected adventure involving hidden paintings, sinister priests, the home of a famous author, & a bus journey across India - this is the story behind the Art India article

Free PDF  - Click Here

Xu Zhen’s Reclining Buddha

NGV Triennale 2017

Critical introduction to the colossal Chinese sculpture by contemporary artist Xu Zhen commissioned by Australia’s national gallery in Melbourne in 2017, with comments on global Buddhist art and the ramifications of Silk Roads ancient and modern

Free PDF  - Click Here

Art, Dance & Sex in the Early Twentieth Century

Wasafiri Magazine (cover story)

Examination via many previously unpublished letters of the love affair between the influential Anglo-Ceylonese philosopher and art historian AK Coomaraswamy and the young Jewish Austrian-American dancer from New York, Stella Bloch

Free PDF  - Click Here