Asian Arts ... ¢â‚¬¢Flowing robes and wavy curls of hair (Gandharan...
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Asian Arts Chapters 15-17 & 32-34
AP Art History
Images of the 250
182. Bamiyan Buddhas
• Location: Bamiyan Valley, central Afghanistan • Along the Silk Road: material wealth/ideas traded • Many merchants were Buddhist • Importance of both trade and religion revealed
• Existence revealed the importance of Buddhism in this region. • Buddhism allowed practitioners more freedoms than
other faiths at this time.
• Practitioners could worship anywhere, at anytime! • Larger Images: 175’ Smaller Images: 120’
• Destroyed in 2001!
Reflections of Cultural
• Large Buddhas: reflect international environment (India, Central Asia, Greece)
• Flowing robes and wavy curls of hair (Gandharan Buddhist imagery combined
with Hellenistic Greek)
• Indian subject matter • Best Description: Chinese monk Xuanzang
• Dazzling golden color • Adorned with brilliant gems • Copper Buddha statue (100’)
184. Jowo Rinpoche,
Jokhang Temple, Tibet
• Buddha Shakyamuni • An image of the “precious one” • Gilt metal: gold with blue hair • Seated on a gold and bejeweled throne • Most sacred image in Tibet • Not sculpted from life • Not the first Buddha statue in Tibet
• Most recent restoration and/or reconstruction: after the Cultural Revolution • What is the Cultural Revolution?
• 1966-1976: movement to preserve “true” Communist ideology in
China and purge any remnants of
capitalist and traditional sentiment
• Origins: a marriage dowry to emperor Songtsen Gampo in 641.
• Created using cloisonné technique
• Persian Book of Kings: one of the largest epics in world literature! • Epic Poem narrating the history of the ancient kings of Iran • Mythic beginnings to the Arab conquest in 651 • Completed c. 1010 by Abu’l Qasim Firdausi (Ferdowsi) • Dedicated to the Ghaznavid ruler Mahmud of Ghazni • This king appears to be the long-awaited ruler who could end the
dynasty of strife – reunify the region! • How is the book divided? 3 successive dynasties
• The Pishdadiyan: early shahs who fought forces of evil • The Kayanids: those who fought with Turan • The Sasanians: last glorious dynasty
• Human experiences: moral struggles, romantic interludes, and death of protagonists
• This is the model for conduct of rulers…to be a GOOD ruler…
189. Bahram Gur Fights the Karg (Horned Wolf)
• Illustration from the Shahnama • Completed in the 14th Century (400 years after the original text
was completed) • Story: Bahram V (Bahram Gur – a Sasanian Empire king)
• gur = “wild ass” one of the world’s fastest running animals • Known as a great hunter, talented warrior, chivalrous, and
• King of India (Shangal) recognized Bahram Gur’s abilities – asked him to help rid India of the fierce Karg (rhino/wolf
• Bahram Gur slays the beast alone – his men were scared! • Uses arrows to weaken animal – sword to slay animal
190. Court of Gayumars
• The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp • One of the most luxuriously
illustrated copies of Firdausi’s epic • Made of fine paper enriched with
large gold-sprinkled borders • 759 folios of text written in nasta’liq
script • 258 paintings of exquisite quality
and artistic originality • Artists involved: Sultan Muhammad,
Mir Musavvir, and Aqa Mirak • Shows harmony between man &
Why is the Shahnama of
Shah Tahmasp I important?
• Part of the Book of Kings (Shahnama) • Painting styles are blended from
Tabriz and Herat
• This copy stands out among Central Asian productions
• This copy was begun for the 1st
Safavid ruler (Shah Ismail I) and
completed under his son (Shah
• Images in Islamic Arts? Depends on the culture and period!
• King Gayumars (1st Persian king) rises above his courtiers (at the base of the work) • Taught the people to wear leopard pelts • Siyamak (son) stands on cliffs • Hushang (grandson) seated right
• Gayumars has just been told (by angel Shurush) that his son will die at the hands of the Black Div • Who is the Black Div? The son of demon Ahriman • This is good v. evil!!!
• Gayumars has also been told that his grandson will avenge Siyamak’s death…killing the Black Div.
191. Ardabil Carpet
• One of the OLDEST Islamic carpets! • The carpet is named for the city of Ardabil: home to a Sufi saint (Safi al-Din Ardabili)
• Shah Ismail (descendant of Sufi saint) gained power in 1501 • Shah Ismail’s rule began the Safavid Dynasty) – one of the MOST important periods for
• This carpet was one of a matching pair – laid side by side in the Shrine of Ardabil! • Made from wool – holds dye better than silk • Dyes were made from pomegranate rind and indigo – 340 knots per square inch • Geometric patterns, vegetative scrolls, floral flourishes • Thoughtfully laid out and executed design • Series of cartouches found on the frame and 4 lines of inscription at one end (a poem)
How did the
carpets leave Iran?
• 1843: visitors noted at least one carpet remained.
• Earthquake damage = carpets SOLD! • damaged carpets restored • 1893: V&A purchased • J.P. Getty bought 2nd carpet • 1953: donated to LACMA
192. Great Stupa (Sanchi)
• What is unique about this temple? • The toranas mark the four cardinal points of the compass! • These probably reflect earlier temple gates and are richly ornamented • Each gate capital is different: elephants carrying riders in an honorific procession,
dwarfs, and lions
• Is Buddha represented on the torana? • NO! Episodes from Buddha’s life and past lives are carved…not Buddha! • Symbols for his presence are noted: footprints, seat of enlightenment, a stupa • Yakshi: link the lowest architrave with the piers (sensuous figures from India)
• Interaction with the space involves circumambulation and meditation
193. Army of the 1st Qin
Emperor, Lintong, China,
Qin Dynasty, c. 210 BCE
Details: Painted Terra Cotta, average height
How were these figures found? By a farmer digging a well in the Shaanxi Province (1974).
Shi Huangdi brought more than 200 years of political and social turmoil to an end.
• His methods were BRUTAL • He constructed the first portions of
the Great Wall
• Established a centralized bureaucracy • Adopted a standard written language,
weights, and measures
194. Funeral Banner of Lady Dai
• One of the most significant Han Dynasty discoveries (1972) – Tomb of the Marquise of Dai. • Mawangdui, Hunan Province, China • Luxurious goods used during burial ceremonies and the funeral
banner = accompanies the noblewoman into the afterlife.
• Lacquer utensils, textiles, well-preserved body (inside a nested sarcophagus – think TUT!)
• Where was the banner placed? • This banner was draped over the coffin of Lady Dai! • Painted silk masterpiece • The area within the cross (top) represents Heaven. • The vertical section represents the human realm.
195. Longmen Caves
• Buddhism was transmitted to China through trade. • Located on the Yi River, this cave-temple complex is on BOTH sides of the river and reveals assimilation! • Most carvings date from the 5th-8th centuries
• There are multiple caves/carvings at this location • Fengxian Temple: One of the 250!
• 9 images carved in the limestone of Fengxian Temple at Longmen • Innovative style and iconography found here! • Sponsored by Emperor Gaozong and his wife (Empress Wu) • High relief carvings located in a semicircle • Central Buddha is the Vairocana Buddha – 55’ high = flanked by bodhisattva, a heavenly king, and a thunderbolt. • Vairocana represents the primordial Buddha who generates and presides over all the Buddhas of the
infinite universes that form Buddhist cosmology.
• This idea—of the power of one supreme deity over all the others—resonated in the vast Tang Empire which was dominated by the Emperor at its summit and supported by his subordinate officials.
Vajrapa ̄n ̣i
• Vaiśravana, one of The Four Heavenly Kings, is on the left (indicated by the stupa in his right hand).
• Vajrapāṇi (on the right) are spiritual beings that wield the thunderbolt, 673-675 C.E.
• Tang dynasty, limestone, Luoyang, Henan province, photo: Sanjay P. K. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
196. Jade Crown (Silla Crown)
• In the 5th and 6th centuries, the Korean peninsula was divided between three rivaling kingdoms.
• The most powerful of these was the Silla kingdom in the southeast of the peninsula.
• Chinese emissaries described the kingdom as a country of gold, and perhaps they had