India, Katra Mountains, Uttar Pradesh, Shakyamuni Buddha, late 1st-early 2nd
mottled red sandstone,
Worcester Art Museum, MA.
India / Pakistan, ancient region of Gandhara, Torso of a Standing Bodhisattva, Kushan
period (c. late 1st - 3rd century CE),
c. late 1st - 2nd century, schist,
height 64 1/2 inches (163.8
cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See Bodhisattva.
Northwest India / Pakistan, Gandhara, Standing Shakyamuni Buddha, 3rd century
gray schist with traces
of gesso, Worcester Art
India / Pakistan, ancient region of Gandhära, Model of a stupa (Buddhist shrine), c.
4th century CE,
22 3/4 inches (57.8 cm), width 7 1/2 inches (19.1 cm), Metropolitan
Museum of Art, NY.
In the spring of 2000, Afghanistan's Taliban
(Islamic extremists in power)
destroyed colossal statues of the Buddha, carved from
a living rock cliff at Bamiyan, 145 km west of Kabul, Afghanistan,
long before the arrival of Islam in that area. One of the statues
was 53 meters high and dated to the 5th century CE;
the other was 37 meters tall and dated to the 3rd century. These
were rare examples of statuary in the Greco-Buddhist style, priceless
ancient relics of this important cultural crossroads. Several
thousand monks once lived in the caves next to the statue. The
Taliban's supreme leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar, ordered the destruction
in an edict, saying such images were contrary to
Islam. "These idols have been gods of the infidels, who
worshipped them, and these are respected even now and perhaps
maybe turned into gods again," his edict said. Other resources
on this story: 1 and 2. (See Islamic
Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, Standing Buddha, Gupta period (c. 319-500),
5th century CE,
mottled red sandstone,
height 33 11/16 inches (85.5
cm), width 16 3/4 inches
(42.5 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
China, Shenxi Provence, Seated Bhuddha with Attending Bodhisattvas,
Northern Wei dynasty,
early 6th century CE,
limestone with polychrome,
Worcester Art Museum, MA.
Hebei province, Maitreya altarpiece, Northern
Wei dynasty, 524 CE,
bronze with gilding, height
30 1/4 inches (76.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See
China, Henan Province, Head of Buddha, Northern Qi dynasty, 550-77 CE,
limestone, Worcester Art
China, Seated Buddha, T'ang
dynasty (618-907), c. 650, dry lacquer
with traces of gilt and polychrome
pigments, 38 x 27 inches
(96.5 x 68.6 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Attributed to Emperor Shomu (Japan), Nara Period, 8th century,
Kengu-kyo Sutra, a Buddhist scripture
also known as "Ojomu", brushed
ink calligraphy on paper,
27.5 x 696.9 cm, Tokyo National Museum. Japanese authorities
have designated this a "National Treasure." See Japanese art.
Period, 8th century, Bowl with cover having yasti-shaped handle,
sahari (a copper alloy),
mouth diameter 6.5, overall
height 9.3 cm, Important
Cultural Property. Horyuji Treasure. See yasti.
Afghanistan (?), South Asia,
Buddha Shakyamuni, 8th-9th century, limestone, 17 1/4 x 12 3/4 x 5 inches (43.82 x 32.39 x 12.7 cm), Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Thailand, Dvaravati, 9th century, Buddha Shakyamuni, bronze, 13 1/8 x 4 x 2 1/8 inches (33.2 x 10.1 x 5.4 cm), Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Borobudur — one of the most magnificent
Buddhist shrines in the world — was built at the end of the
9th century by the Hindu
kings of the Sailendra dynasty. Borobudur is located 42 kms west
of Yogyakarta, on the island of Java in Indonesia. The plan for this stupa is a schematized representation
of the cosmos, a mandala.
After visiting its lower terraces decorated
pilgrims attain the shrine's crowning
stupa, which symbolizes the Absolute.
Also see plan and representation.
Heian period, early 10th
Kannon (eleven-headed Kannon), solid woodblock construction
with traces of polychrome,
Worcester Art Museum, MA. See Japanese art and wood.
Japan, Fudo Myo-o, Late Heian
period, twelfth century, wood with color and gold leaf, 80 inches high (203.2 cm), Metropolitan
Museum of Art, NY. This statue of Fudo, whose name means "immovable,"
is a staunch guardian of the Buddhist faith, warding off enemies
of the Buddha with his word of wisdom and binding evil forces
with his lasso. A symbol of steadfastness
in the face of temptation, Fudo is one of the most commonly depicted
of the Esoteric Buddhist deities known as Myo-o, "King of
Brightness." Here his youthful, chubby body and his skirt
and scarf are modeled
with the restrained, gentle curves typical of late Heian sculpture.
Fudo's hair was once painted red and his flesh dark blue green.
Burma, 13th century, Buddha (detail), wood
with traces of gilding and polychrome,
60 x 12 x 5 1/2 inches (152.4 x 30.5 x 14 cm), Los Angeles County
Museum of Art.
China, Mandala, 1279-1368, Yuan
dynasty (1279-1368), silk, 33 x 33 inches (83.82 x 83.82
cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See Chinese art, mandala,
Mandala, 1330-1332, Yüan
dynasty, c. 1330-32, silk, metallic thread, 96 5/8 x 82 1/4
inches (245.4 x 208.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See
Bodhisattva, Chinese art, mandala,
Tibet, Sonam Gyatso (Third Dalai Lama), 16th-17th
centuries, copper, gilding,
height 14.5 cm, Hermitage
Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Hakuin Ekaku (Japanese, 1685-1768), Daruma, hanging scroll, ink on
marks, 44 1/2 x 19 3/4
inches (113 x 50.2 cm), Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA.
Daruma (Sanskrit: Bodhidharma) was Zen's
first patriarch, a legendary meditation master who traveled from
India to China in the sixth century. His teachings were radically
different from the elaborate, ritualistic schools of Buddhism
that were then prevalent. Haquin Ekaku was also a reknowned Zen
master. See kakemono.