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Comparative Hell
Comparative Hell
Comparative Hell
Comparative Hell
Comparative Hell
Comparative Hell
Comparative Hell
Comparative Hell

Comparative Hell

Edited by Adriana Proser


  • Seventy exceptional and visually stunning Asian artworks, ranging in date from the 8th to 21st-century, are reproduced in dazzling color plates in this catalog
  • Objects are drawn from public and private collections based in the United States and Europe
  • Historical portrayals alongside contemporary scenes of hell, revealing the differences, convergences, and influences of religious beliefs, archetypes, and artistic practices across cultures and time
  • Published to accompany an exhibition at Asia Society, from February 7, to May 7, 2023
Full Description

Hell has been embodied and portrayed in terrifying, bizarre, and occasionally humorous incarnations across religions and cultures for millennia. Whether considered as places of eternal or finite punishment, underworlds provide a rich setting for a potent cast of characters that have caught the imaginations of artists and patrons who have shaped the visual cultures of Asia’s systems of belief, particularly Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Islam. Through masterpieces from West Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia, and the diaspora, paired with essays from renowned scholars, this publication explores both differences and similarities in conceptions of the afterlife and artistic practices from religion to religion and culture to culture. This journey through judgment, punishment, and even the pro-mise of salvation sheds light on the fundamental questions of life, death, and existence.

About the Author

Adriana Proser is Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Quincy Scott Curator of Asian Art at The Walters Art Museum.

Phyllis Granoff is the Lex Hixon Professor of World Religions at Yale University.

Christiane Gruber is Professor of Islamic Art in the History of Art Department at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

D. Max Moerman is Professor in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures at Barnard College, Columbia University.

Goh Geok Yian is Associate Chair (Research) and Associate Professor of History at the School of Humanities, Nanyang Technological University Singapore.

Michelle Yun is Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Asia Society Museum.

Look Inside
Officina Libraria
6th Mar 2023
USA & Canada
9.02 in x 10.75 in
244 Pages
95 color, 5 b&w
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