Angkor: A Tour of the Monuments, is a slim paperback volume on the art and architecture of the temple complexes of Angkor. Tracing the history of Angkor Wat from its beginnings in legend to its early incarnation as a centre of Hindu worship, before its transition in the 14th century to a major landmark of Buddhist architecture, author Thierry Zéphir uncovers the layers of history buried beneath the ruins of Angkor, first guiding readers through Angkor Wat before bringing them to Angkor Thom, as well as the areas surrounding Angkor where lesser-known but equally intriguing structures still stand.
The book consists of a rich visual array of photographs which illustrate both the vastness of the ancient complex as well as the intricacies of the stonework within. Picture spreads are testament to the extensive nature of Angkor’s temples, while close-ups reveal the infinite detail that is inherent throughout. Individual chapters are devoted to Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom, while two further chapters, ‘Around Angkor Thom’ and ‘Away from Angkor’, focus on the ruins in the landscape around the region.
Pictures in each section are prefaced by well-researched texts which furnish the reader with historical information, placing the buildings against a backdrop of larger developments and trends in ancient Cambodian history and culture. The author illuminates each photograph in unstinting detail, bringing acclaimed photographer Luca Invernizzi Tettoni’s pictures to life with expert knowledge.
Angkor: A Tour of the Monuments proves to be an invaluable reference source for serious readers of the subject as well as for those wishing to acquaint themselves for the first time with one of Cambodia’s most important monuments.
Thierry Zéphir is head of research at the National Museum of Asian Arts, the Musée Guimet, in Paris, and also a professor at the École du Louvre, where he teaches courses on India and the countries of the Indianised world. Since 1991 he has regularly taught students in the Faculty of Archaeology in Phnom Penh. He is the author of various books and scholarly articles, including Khmer: Lost Empire of Cambodia. In 1997 he curated the international exhibition: Sculpture of Angkor and Ancient Cambodia – Millennium of Glory.
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Luca Invernizzi Tettoni was born in Turin, Northern Italy and lived and worked in Asia from 1973 until his death in 2013. He is a professional photographer who has provided pictures for many books, including The Arts of Thailand, The Tropical Garden, and Filipino Style; his work also appears frequently in Asian, European and American magazines. In 1985 he received the PATA Professionalism Award for his ‘specific contribution to the promotion of Southeast Asia of Thailand and of Thai heritage and culture’.