buddhist art (history) (2ndsem)


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Page 1: Buddhist art (History) (2ndSem)
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Vedic Period

• Aryans migrated from the W (Caspain and Black Sea) into NW part of India (around the banks of the Indus and its tributaries)

• Oral tradition and sacrificial rituals, soma drink• Contains prays, melodies, formulas and incantations• Caste system (a hierarchical order classified by professions): Brahmin

(priests), Kstriya (Kings), Visya (Merchants) and Sudra (Untouchables)

• Vedic means “knowledge” dated between 1200-400 BCE.• Rgveda “Veda of Verses” is the oldest• Samaveda “Veda of Melodies”• Yajurveda “Veda of Ritual Formulas”• Atharvaveda (name after a rsis)

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Vedic Gods

• Devas (gods or divine powers), Asuras (demons)

• 33 in numbers

• Divided into 3 classes: celestial, atmospheric, and terrestrials (sky, atmosphere or earth)

• Surya (Sun God)

• Indra (Thunder God)-The highest

• Agni (God of Fire)

• Vishnu

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Buddhist Architecture

King Asoka

Sanchi Stupa

Bhaja Cave

Kali Cave

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King Asoka of Maurya period

• Maurya ca. 322-185 BCE (the Greeks held the power in the Gandhara region until the death of Alexander the great in 323)

• King Asoka 272-231 BCE; solidified the N and Central India region by a bloody campaigns and later converted to Buddhism.

• Pillars of Law (Dharma-sthambani)-with inscription of propaganda and Buddhist teachings

• Asoka’s column at Sarnath-site associated with the First Sermon; addorsed lions symbolizing the spreading of the Buddha’s teachings. Lion represents Sakyamuni’s clan.

• wheel (cakra) symbolizes the turning of the wheel of law; animals (elephant, bull, horse, and lion)

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3.4 Lion capital of King Asoka; Polished sandstone, Sarnath

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Bull capital from Rampurva, c. 250 BCE

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Great Stupa, Sanchi, c. 250 BCE; enlarged and renovated c. 50-25 BCE

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• Stupa is a solid memorial mound, enshrining a relic casket containing the cremated remains of the Buddha, or venerated Buddhist teachers.

• Practitioners circumambulate three times around the stupa• Sanchi Stupa I (also known as the Great Stupa), dated 1st BCE; built of bricks

and rubbles in a semi-circular shape, symbolizing the World Axis (19.8 meter)• Toranas (Gates) decorated with reliefs depicting scenes from the Life of the

Buddha and His past lives (jatakas) (35 feet); capital decorated with lion (S), elephant(N and E) and dwarf (W)

• Railing (vadika) separates the sacred and the profane worlds; imitated wooden architecture (3.35 m. high)

• Chattra (umbrella)-symbolizes the Buddha, Dharma (teachings) and Sangha (followers)

• Note: no depicted of the Buddha in Human form; used symbols such as foot print , empty throne, lotus pedestal

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Sanchi Stupa I

• Asoka period

• Stupa is a relic mound; plan is swastika shape

• Toranas: two up right pillars (S-lion; N and E-elephant: W-dwarf

• Jatakas: Buddha past lives; 550 animals and human lives

• Note: no images of the Buddha was depicted; use only symbols such as footprint, lotus flower, an empty throne.

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Eastern torana

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• Female figures (Yakshinis; male is called yakshas) on the brackets symbolizes tree goddesses; pre-Buddhist spirits associate with the generative or productive forces of nature, water, and strength of the inner breath.

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Yakshi bracket figure from the east gate, 60”

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Northern gate

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Detail of bracket on the easternn gate

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Detail of bracket of the eastern gate

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Detail of bracket on the eastern gate

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Chaitaya and Vihara

• Stupa for circumambulation• Chaitaya is a congregation hall• Vihara is a residential hall• Bhaja Cave, Shunga period, c. 1st century BCE• Karli Cave , c. Early 2nd century CE• Ajanta Caves (462-500) during the reign of King Hindu

King Harishena of the Vakataka period

• Rock-cut caves• Mural painting: moist coat of lime over layers of clay, cow

dung, and other elements

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3.8 Chaitya at Romas Rishi Cave and Bhaja Cave, Late Shunga, c. 1st BCE

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3.9-10 Chaitya Hall ar Karli, Early 2nd century CE

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3.9 Karli Cave, Early 2nd CE

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Kushan (30-320 CE and Later Andhra (1st CE-320 CE)

• Kushana: were nomadic Caucasians from Central Asia; King Kanishka (early 2nd C) extended the empire; Buddhist art has combinations of Hellenistic, Persians and Mauraya styles.

• Buddhist art were produced in 2 major styles: Gandhara (influenced by Hellenistic style) and Mathura (indigenous Indian)

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Buddha images

• Hands (mudras): meditation (Dhyanamudra), First Sermon (dharmacakramudra), Earth-touching hand gesture (bhumisparsamudra)

• Legs (asana): folded one on top of the other• Positions: sitting, standing and reclining• Urna: tuft of hair between the eyebrows• Usnisa: sign of great man (32 major

characteristics and 80 minor characteristics)

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3.12 Kanishka I, Kushana Period, c. 120 CE (1.62 m)

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3.11 Seated Buddha, Gandhara, 2nd century CE. Schist

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First Sermon

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3.14 Bamiyan Buddha, Afganistan, 2nd-5th century CE, destroyed in 2001

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• Buddha-to-be who remain on earth to help all of the beings into paradise (“those who have bodhi, wisdom or enlightenment,’ also known as “buddhas -in the making”

• Wear jewelry and holds attributes• Maitreya Bodhisattva (Future Buddha)• Avalokistesvara Bodhisattva (Bodhisattva of

Compassion); he resided in the Western paradise of Buddha Amitabha (Buddha of infinite light, space and time)

• Read detail in O’Reiley page 66

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Maitreya Buddha, Gandhara, 1st-2nd

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3.13 Bodhisattva Padmapani, Cave 1, Ajanta c. late 5th CE