VSANA Library of Stone Appreciation Books

Book reviews in the VSANA Library of Stone Appreciation are intended to give readers an indication of the wide range of books available, primarily on Asian stone appreciation, but also on Western stones. Additional reviews are added to this site each month. They are presented in the country where they are produced. Unfortunately, some of the books are out of print and difficult to obtain.

The VSANA Library currently consists of three parts—the Featured Book Review of the Month, the VSANA Library, and Buy Books.

• Feature Book Review features monthly one of the more important books published in field of stone


• VSANA library contains over 150 reviews in nine languages. The reviews are intended to give readers

     an indication of the wide range of books available on stone appreciation published globally.

Buy Books is a new feature to guide our readers who may wish to purchase a book from reliable sources.

Featured Book Review

Zhu Jiayui and Ge Chunnan. 2012.

The Late Work of Monk Daixu with 100 Peculiar Paintings.

Culture and Art Publishing Company, Beijing. Xx pages. ISBN number 978-7-5039-3369-7/I.898. Price when published: 48 RMB.

This modern volume reproduces the original book written by Chu Deli and published in 1933 and adds additional articles about Daixu. It is a book about the writings, poems, and paintings of a Buddhist monk, Daxiu (1869-1932), who entered a monastery at age 13 and rose to become the abbot of the Hanshan Temple in Suzhou in Jiangsu province, China. Among his accomplishments, Daxiu completed a masterpiece “Hundred Stone Garden” between 1928 and 1930. The original book included paintings of 100 stones, and was likely the most important illustrated book of stones produced during the Republic of China period (1915-1945). Daxiu’s paintings were described as extremely colorful. His illustrated book of stones has been overlooked by Western writers of Chinese stone appreciation. Fortunately, this modern volume assembles 10 articles about Daxiu, 20 poems, and reproduces his stone paintings. This period in Chinese history was thought to be a quiet time with few important contributions, however, this work provides an opportunity for scholars of Chinese stone paintings to study this transitional period between dynastic and modern China.

The paintings are reproduced in black and white in this book. Many of the illustrated stones are obviously garden stones or even larger stone formations with trees growing near their peaks. Other stones are featured without evidence of their size or location. No stones are shown in basins or carved wood bases. Daxiu’s paintings bear a resemblance to some of the colored stone paintings of the late Qing dynasty Zhou Tang (courtesy name Zhaobo), however, a serious comparison would require access to Daxiu’s colored paintings.

Rating: Excellent: An important reference for stone paintings from the Republic of China period in Chinese history.


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