ART Chapter 7
Deities and Places of Worship
What does God look like?
Latin for “Hand of God”
Religions and their imagery of deities and holy beings
Simple geometric shapes often symbolize God:
The sphere and dome in Islamic architecture stand for the heavens and the
oneness of God.
The circle in the Hindu religion, symbolizes the unknowable God.
The triangle represents the Christian God.
Animism: all forces of nature are inhabited by spirits; a rock or tree can be carved into an image
to bring out the natural force
False Face Society Mask – (Iroquois) Represent the spirit of a giant, it is carved directly
on a tree and only removed when finished. Red if painted in the morning, black if
started in the afternoon.
Polytheism: the belief in many gods.
The Snake goddess represents male and female regenerative powers.
Ancient Greek Zeus or Poseidon: Missing something from his hand, if thunderbolt it
would be Zeus, if It’s a trident it is Poseidon
Ancient Egypt Hathor
Pantheism: belief that a single, divine spirit pervades all things in the universe.
Hinduism: appears to have numerous gods, but it is pantheism, rather than polytheism.
All of their “gods” are manifestations, or “avatars”, of a divine universal spirit –
Brahman the Unbounded
Shiva, avatar of Hindu religion
Good and evil
Male and female
Unity in which all opposites meet
“Lord of the Dance”
stands in perfect balance, body is sleek, supple, and graceful
embodiment of cosmic energy
balanced pose is the concept of eternal stillness
Mudra is a sign of protection
Right foot crushes ignorance
Buddhism: follows the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama
The Enlightened One – the Buddha Great Stupa
One symbol for Sakyamuni was the Stupa, a sign of his death and of attainment
Buddhist monument, contained ashes and relics of Buddha
Bodhisattvas: living beings who have attained Buddhahood but have chosen to remain
on earth to help others
Monotheism: belief in one god and that there is no other.
Judaism is one of the oldest, surviving monotheistic regions of the Western world and
also the foundation of Christianity and Islam.
Christianity Madonna of the Meadow
Jesus is the center, his cousin, St. John the Baptist, at the left, and Mary, his
Children sweet, but solemn
Cross portends their roles of savior and prophet
Human, but dignified and divine
They fit into an implied triangle, sacred shape of the trinity
Harbor implies protection, Mary was known as the Port of Salvation
Islam Mohammed’s Ascent into Heaven
Different Ways Humans Respond to God
The Transformation Mask – Pacific Northwest (know differen