Southeast Asia in Ruins

Art and Empire in the Early 19th Century

Sarah Tiffin

Southeast Asia in Ruins

Sarah Tiffin

Distributed for National University of Singapore Press

340 pages | 82 color plates | 7 1/4 x 9 1/4 | © 2016
Cloth $42.00 ISBN: 9789971698492 Published January 2017 For sale in North and South America and China only
British artists and commentators in the late 18th and early 19th century encoded the twin aspirations of progress and power in images and descriptions of Southeast Asia’s ruined Hindu and Buddhist candis, pagodas, wats and monuments. To the British eye, images of the remains of past civilisations allowed, indeed stimulated, philosophical meditations on the rise and decline of entire empires. Ruins were witnesses to the fall, humbling and disturbingly prophetic, (and so revealing more about British attitudes than they do about Southeast Asia’s cultural remains). This important study of a highly appealing but relatively neglected body of work adds multiple dimensions to the history of art and image production in Britain of the period, showing how the anxieties of empire were encoded in the genre of landscape paintings and prints.
Contents
List of Figures
Acknowledgements
 
Introduction – Subjects of Novelty and Interest
 
I           Raffles’ The History of Java, its Precursors and its Peers
 
II          The Candi of Java and the Picturesque Ideal
 
III        The Barometer of Civilisation
 
IV        The Nature of Decline
 
V         The Politics of Decline
 
VI        Dissipating the Gloom of Ignorance
 
Conclusion – The Landscape of Regret
 
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Index
 
Review Quotes
John Crowley, Dalhousie University
“This immaculately written book, together with the excellently chosen illustrations, integrates early British visual culture regarding Southeast Asia with an important discussion of the relationships between European imperialism and art history.”
Tony Ellwood, National Gallery of Victoria
Southeast Asia in Ruins is a valuable and impressive addition to scholarship on British art. Richly diverse source materials are deftly deployed in an elegant, insightful and highly readable narrative that has the very great merit of focusing attention on these beautiful but all too frequently overlooked images.”
Star
“This is a richly-detailed academic study that is filled with original art but it’s not too dense or complex to be out of reach of the casual reader.”
Sojourn
"This impeccable art history scholarship is the result of long and thorough doctoral research on decoding narratives hinted in landscape paintings and prints of Southeast Asia's Hindu and Buddhist sanctuaries in ruins...Tiffin's work and methodology are exemplary in showing how the study of images may be as heuristic as the study of text."
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://www.press.uchicago.edu
Google preview here

Chicago Manual of Style

RSS Feed

RSS feed of the latest books from National University of Singapore Press. RSS Feed