ART 140 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Thatching, Arjuna Ratha, Ganesha

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17 Sep 2016
Department
Course
Professor
South & Southeast Asia II
Gardner 16-26
February 2
Gandahra first anthropomorphic representation of Buddha appeared in 1st century CE, result of
changing perception of Buddha. Enlightened mortal --> Divinity = followers wanted images to
worship
Gandahra Statues many early portayals of Buddha in human form come from Gandhara,
represent him as the Enlightened one as a robed monk. Embodies Greco-Roman art in body
form (sharp arching brows, continuous profile of forehead and nose) and in draping of togalike
garment
Meditating Buddha (Gandhara, Pakistan; 2nd century CE)
gray schist = the local stone
3’ 7 1/2” high
ushnisha and urna
monk robes
seated, cross legged yogic posture (similar to figure on Indus seal)
hands overlap, palms upward, dhyana murda, gesture of meditation
Schist Frieze (Life and Death of the Buddha) (Gandhara, Pakistan; 2nd century CE)
2’ 2 3/8” x 9’ 6 1/8”
Roman reliefs served as styalistic models for the sculptor (distribution of standing and
equestrain figures, people behind first row seem suspended in air, familiar in Roman art in 2nd
and 3rd centuries CE)
reclining buddha in death bed similar to figures on lids of Roman Sarcophagi
earliest pictorial narrative of Buddha’s life in chronological order:
Buddah’s birth in Lumbini
enlightenment at Bodh Gaya
1st sermon at Sarnath
death at Kushinagara
LEFT: Queen Maya gives birth to Prince Sidartha from right hip, he shows ushnisha, uran, halo.
He is received by god Indra. There are elegantly dressed ladies represent the opulent court life
Buddha left behind
Next Scene: Buddha sits under Bodhi tree and he is not effected by demons of evil Mara trying
to distract him from quest for knowledge and buddha touches the earth (bhumisparsha mudra)
to show his enlightenment
Next Scene: buddha preaches Eightfold Path to nirvana in Deer Park at Sarnath (shown by two
deer and Wheel of the Law), Buddha raises right hand (adhaya murda) blesses monks and
devotees at first sermon
FINAL SECTION (Parinirvana) Buddha lies dying, devotees grieving, a monk is tranquil bc
understands Buddha will be permanently relieve of suffering
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Mathura 90 miles south of Deli, part of Kushan Empire, images of Buddha are from the same
time as those in Gandhara but styalistcally different
statues similar to Indian portayals of yakshas (male equivalent of yakshis)
yakshas: robust, powerful males, broad shoulders, open and staring eyes
Buddha seated on lion thrown (Mathura, India; 2nd century CE) Mathura Buddhas carved
from red sandstone, same characteristics as yakshas BUT wears monk robes w/ right shoulder
bare and no signs of wealth
robe transparent, revealing full and fleshy body
yogic posture
on lion thrown
under Bodhi tree
raised right hand (abhaya gesture) showing worshipers they need not fear
hands and feet bear the mark of the wheel of the law
The Gupta and Post-Gupta Perionds
320 CE new emperors in north-central India. Chose Pataliputra as capital, associating selves w.
prestige of former Maurya Empire. 375-415 CE Chandragupta II ruled dynasty. Gupta patrons of
art and literature
t
Canonical image of Buddha monastic robe covering both shoulders (Gandhara) combined
with soft, full body Buddha dressed in clinging garments (Mathura)
Sarnath, India statue of seated buddha preaching first sermon from here, shows the merged
styles of Gandhara and Mathura (canonical image)
Seated Buddha preaching first sermon (Sarnath, India; second half of 5th century CE
tan sandstone
5’ 3” high
indian notion of perfect body form: smooth, unadorned surface; emphasizes figures spirituality
Eyes are downcast in meditation, hands held in front of body in the wheel turning gesture,
preaching 1st sermon
BELOW Buddha in scene w/ Wheel of Law in center, between two deer, symbolizing deer park
at Sarnath.
this Buddha image so popular that temples houseing Buddhas statues displaced stupa as the
norm in Buddhist sacred architecture
Ajanta, India northeast of Bombay. Chaitya halls = caves carved out of mountain.
Contemporary w/ Gupta sculpture of classic seated buddha Ajanta was site of Buddhist
monastery until royal patrons of Vakataka dynasty allied w/ Guptas and added 20+ new caves
(many of which retained their painted walls and ceiling decoration)
* Popularity of Gupta buddha statues led to transformation in india religious architecture
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