Entries Tagged as China

Kangxi Style Painting - Updated

January 01, 2017 ·

The Kangxi Style Painting Page has been updated with additional images.

Tags: China · painting · updates

Yunnan Painting & Sculpture Style - Added

December 24, 2016 ·

A page for Yunnan Painting & Sculpture has been added.

Tags: additions · China

Collection: Hanhai Auction House - Added

September 03, 2015 ·

Hanhai Auction House of Beijing, China, has kindly agreed to allow Himalayan Art Resources website access to some of their extensive collection of images for educational use on the HAR website. (See the list of other auction houses on HAR).

Tags: additions · China · collections

Dunhuang Cave Murals - Added

August 26, 2015 ·

A page for the Dunhuang Cave Murals has been added along with some explanation of the iconography, history and painting style.

Tags: additions · China · Murals

Wutaishan Mountain, China

May 09, 2011 ·

Several hundred photos of Wutaishan Mountain in China have been uploaded to the HAR website. They are not art photos per se but rather snap shots of some of the important stupas, temples, sculpture and sight locations. The mountain with its five terraces (peaks) and the narrative relating to the Mahayana bodhisattva and Tantric figure Manjushri are important in the art of the Himalayas, Tibet, Nepal, China and Mongolia.

In the center of the vast pilgrimage site, in the principal valley is a large white stupa constructed by the famous Nepalese artist Aniko, also responsible for the White Stupa in Beijing. In the recorded literature it also states that Chogyal Pagpa himself assisted in the physical construction of the stupa - all during the time of Kublai Khan in the Yuan dynasty. It would be a huge task to document and photograph all of the major and minor sites at Wutaishan and likely take more than a week to conduct a traditional pilgrimage even with the use of a motor vehicle.

Over the next few months the images of the various sites will be divided into thematic pages accompanied by identifications and explanations wherever possible.

Tags: Architecture · art · China · Manjushri · Wutaishan

Five Manjushri of Wutaishan Mountain

May 09, 2011 ·

Wutaishan Mountain in China is considered special for the Buddhist deity/bodhisattva Manjushri. According to oral history and Chinese literature it was Chogyal Pagpa who first talked about the five different forms of Manjushri that are represented on each of the five peaks (actually terraces): central and four directions. The Five Manjushri forms are not depicted in a consistent manner with iconographic differences appearing between the various paintings be they central figures or minor figures in a composition. This may suggest that there was no original definitive iconographic description for each of the five forms of Manjushri. These forms became more standardized after the publication of the White Beryl astrological text of Desi Sanggye Gyatso in the 17th century.

Tibetan astrology is said to have originated from the teachings of Manjushri while he dwelt on Mount Wutaishan. It is also from here, looking out onto the world, that Manjushri perceived the brilliant light shinning from the relics of Dipamkara Buddha in the lake of what is now known as the Kathmandu Valley. Manjushri used his sword to cleave an opening in the mountains to drain the lake. The relics of Dipamkara are safely contained in the Swayambhunath Stupa.

Later, after the time of Tsongkapa, a Manjushri emanation, and based on the visions of the direct student Khedrubje, five forms of Tsongkapa also became associated with the five peaks. The five forms of Manjushri are unique to Wutaishan while the five forms of Tsongkapa can also be found represented in other compositions and art contexts. (See a painting of Wutaishan depicting both groups of five).

Tags: China · iconography · Wutaishan

Manjushri with 1000 Arms

May 04, 2011 ·

This is a very unusual form of Manjushri with possibly eleven faces and one thousand arms. The stacked heads are reminiscent of Avalokiteshvara. The first two pairs of hands hold a vajra and bell. Another pair of arms are stretched upward with the two hands holding a single buddha. The remaining hands fanned out to the sides each hold a buddha figure. Manjushri sits in a western style with the legs in front and the soles of the feet on the ground - atop a giant tortoise. There is currently no available Tibetan or Sanskrit text describing this form of the deity and it is possible that it is unique to the Buddhists of Wutaishan Mountain.

Tags: art · China · iconography

Avalokiteshvara with 1000 Arms

May 03, 2011 ·

This very large Avalokiteshvara sculpture resides at the Dazu Grotto in Sichuan Provence, China. The site is massive and the size of some of the standing sculpture is breathtaking. There are three types of Avalokiteshvara images in this gallery: [1] photos of portions of the sculpture while it is covered in scaffolding and being repaired, [2] photos of photos of the complete work and [3] photos of a stone replica a fraction of the size of the original. The replica conveys a very good idea of the complexity and detail of the overall work.

Tags: art · China · iconography

Wheel of Life - Biggest in the World?

May 02, 2011 ·

The Wheel of Life stone carving in the Dazu Grotto is very likely the largest depiction in the world. This particular model of the Buddhist cosmology, the environment and inhabitants, is based on the interpretation of one particular Chinese monk in the 12th century. Wheel of Life depictions are usually based on the Abhidharma literature of the Theravada and Sutrayana vehicles and the artistic examples that are copied or used for inspiration such as the famous Ajanta Cave depiction. Within the Vajrayana system various divergent models are presented with the foremost being that of the Kalachakra Tantra. At the Dazu Grotto we have what is possibly the worlds largest and most idiosyncratic Wheel of Life - carved from stone.

Tags: art · China · iconography

Dazu Grotto, Sichuan, China

May 02, 2011 ·

The Dazu Grotto is not just one location but a number of sites in Sichuan Province of China. Dating from as early as the 7th century the various sites contain 75 locations and over 50,000 rock carved statues. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. There are numerous temples associated with the different sites along with fascinating Chinese Tantric imagery.

Tags: art · China