The Sensuous and the Sacred: Chola Bronzes from South India, by Vidya Dehejia and Richard H Davis.
Presents 185 illustrations (160 in colour) and documents an art form that remains part of daily life and ritual for Hindus in south-eastern India.
The book carefully explains poses (often via ancient verse) and ornamentation among the figures, which are often depicted as female, exquisitely proportioned and fecund.
The book's title captures the bronzes' unique fusion of spiritual attainment and physical allure, still not widely known (or comprehended) in the West. In that sense, this work makes an excellent introduction to a worldview quite different from the scientific one, which splits off the spiritual from physical life.