Art History 100 OWL Notes
Art History 100 OWL Notes Art His 100
Popular in Survey: Ancient-Medieval Art
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jieun Son on Sunday September 25, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Art His 100 at University of Massachusetts taught by Monika Schmitter in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see Survey: Ancient-Medieval Art in Art History at University of Massachusetts.
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Date Created: 09/25/16
ART-HIS 100 Buddhist Art 1. How does karma impact the soul? a. It acts as a process that contributes to what level of existence a soul will be reborn into following transmigration. 2. What is transmigration? a. The soul’s progress from death through change then return to our world in a renewed form is called transmigration. 3. What is nirvana? a. Freedom from the process of transmigration. 4. Circumambulation is: a. The ritual act of walking around an object of devotion; think of it as a kind of walking prayer. 5. The Buddha is: a. Used in two ways: i. To indicate a class of being (e.g., human beings, animals, buddhas) ii. As a proper name for the Indian sage who first taught the tenets of Buddhism in our world. b. Buddhas are “awakened ones.” 6. Bodhisattvas a. Qualified to be buddhas: enlightened and transcendental beings. b. Differences between of them are Bodhisattvas postpone their nirvana to help all sentient beings gain their own enlightenment. Iconographic features of a Buddha and what they mean: th 1. Shakyamuni Buddha. India, 5 century, Gupta. Calcutta Museum. a. Ambiguous gender features (as perfected beings, buddhas transcend gender) b. Halo: Buddhas and other divinities can be dignified with a halo or mandorla. Halos may be shown as round forms, like an aureole (as here), or tall and pointed, like a lotus petal. c. Mudra: symbolic hand gestures; this one communicates reassurance, “fear not,” to the worshipper. There are many mudras possible on buddhas or other divinities. d. Simple garments: monk’s robes, comprised of robes appropriate to the climate. India’s heat makes only minimal clothing necessary. ART-HIS 100 e. Ushnisha: bump at the crown of the head indicating the superior wisdom of a Buddha. It is not hair but cranium) f. Snail-shell curls of hair: Buddhas renounce the mundane world, giving up all worldly possessions and shaving their hair. Snail-shell curls refer to the perfect forms of the buddha’s body, and contrast starkly with the long locks that were worn long ago by Indian elites. g. Urna: slight bump between the eyebrows that emits the supernatural light of enlightenment. On the statue, it is hard to see because the original paint has worn off. h. Shape of the eyes: like a lotus petal. The perfection of a Buddha is indicated through a body that is composed of beautiful forms from nature. i. Three rings at the neck: like a conch shell. The perfection of a Buddha is indicated through a body that is composed of beautiful forms from nature. Shaka Iconography a. Attendant beings: the figures standing next to the Buddha are worshippers who represent the human audience for this buddha’s teachings. Above him are celestial beings who also come to worship. b. Bodhi tree (the leaf shape indicates the Bodhi tree, which is the tree Sakyamuni sat under when meditating that last time leading to his complete enlightenment. c. Seated position: This is known as the “lotus” position, legs folded and soles of the feet faced upward. This position is meditation posture, though it is used more generally for any Buddha shown seated. This Shaka is not meditating because he performs the “fear not” mudra, rather than the mudra of meditation. d. Lions on the pedestal: this animal symbolized Sakyamuni, because one of the names he is known by is “Lion of the Sakya clan.” Amida Iconography a. Halo: this halo is the form of a lotus petal, accentuated with low relief flames. The lotus is a symbol of purity, and the flames reflect the radiating energy of a Buddha. b. Ushnisha c. Snail shell curls of hair d. Monk’s attire: all of its parts (robe, bare feet, shaved head) e. Lotus pedestal: pedestals in the shape of lotus blossoms are commonly used as platforms for seated buddhas and bodhisattvas. In Buddhism, the lotus symbolizes purity. In the case of Amida, it also refers to his celestial abode known as the “Western Paradise” or the “Pure Land,” ART-HIS 100 Dvarapala Iconography a. This is a guardian of Buddhism. Guardians are not perfected beings there form they are still subject to the intensity of emotion. b. Defenders of the faith c. They trample demons who symbolize the ignorance that stands in the way of enlightenment d. Ferocious expression e. Muscles, armor f. Demons under foot Apsaras Iconography a. Apsaras is an angel; they fly, their flowing scarves indicating their movement, and they are blissfully happy. b. Smiles c. Music instruments: fly celestial may express their wonder and joy in the presence of a Buddha by playing music, singing, or dancing. 7. How does a viewer recognize that a statue is a Buddha? a. Iconography 8. What is a bodhisattva? a. An enlightened being b. A Buddhist divinity 9. What are guardians? a. They are beings who put their great strength to work on behalf of worshippers by destroying ignorance and other obstacles to enlightenment 10. In Buddhist iconography, some elements indicate any divinity, some indicate a class of being, and some identify the particular divinity. Choose the threeelements below that identify buddhas only, and no other class of being. a. Elongated earlobes b. Three rings at the neck c. Ushnisha Buddhist Temples ART-HIS 100 1. Pagoda: this is a building intended for use as a focus of worship. The worshipper walks around its exterior with hands clasped together in the attitude of prayer and with a measured pace as an act or devotion. The pagoda is a symbol of nirvana, the ultimate goal of Buddhism. 2. Lecture Hall: this spacious building allows the monastic community to gather for lectures and sermons. 3. Image Hall: this building houses a platform with images serving as objects of worship. - The images dignify worshippers and creating the proper sense of awe in them. Buddhism does not require devotion to a single divinity; an immense pantheon reflects the complex of Buddhist ideas and theology. - Worshippers may circumambulate the exterior or the building as an act of walking meditation. - Small offering tables may be temporarily placed in front of the image platform to permit special ritual observances such as the chanting of sacred text. 4. Middle Gate: oriented to the south, the Middle Gate gives visitors access to the main ritual buildings. The gate connects to a covered cloister which surrounds this main ritual center and separates it from the more mundane parts of the temple complex, such as dormitories for monks. ART-HIS 100 5. Covered cloister 11. What happens in an image Hall? a. Circumambulation b. Chanting, performed by a monk in front of a small offering table set up in front of the image platform c. Standing, meditative prayer 12. The purpose of Buddhism? a. To help the worshipper ascend in a cosmic cycle of transmigration. b. After death, to gain release from the cycle of transmigration.
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