The Beginnings of Buddhist Art
by A. Foucher

One of the most important and seminal essays in the history of Buddhist art by the great French art historian.

translated by
L.A. Thomas
F.W. Thomas

originally published in the
Journal Asiatique
Jan-Feb 1911




Html Table of Contents


Section One

Section Two

Section Three

Section Four

Section Five



The following essay, which is now in the public domain, is drawn from the book: The Beginnings of Buddhist Art and other essays in Indian and Central-Asian Archeology by A. Foucher. It is the first in the book, and one of the most important as Foucher herein discusses the important aniconic phase of Buddhist art, giving a reasonable thesis for its production and development.

The rest of the book has been scanned and corrected by my good friend and sometime secretary, Ng Ah Soon, but I am unable to present it here as there are constant references to plates that I cannot reproduce. However this essay does not have more than one reference to a Plate in the book and can therefore easily stand by itself. I have added illustrations to the essay with some files from Wikimedia.

Ä€nandajoti Bhikkhu
November 2010