Himalayan Art Resources

Iconography: Peaceful Appearance

Peaceful Appearance | Eleven Figurative Forms

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Peaceful Appearance Explanation (below)
- Non-iconic (narrative literature)
- Iconic (Tantric literature)
- Gender & Iconography
- Eleven Types of Deities
- Buddhist Iconography Main Page
- Bodhisattva & Bodhisattva Appearance
- Iconography Main Page
- Confusions
- Others...

Peaceful appearance is synonymous with both the terms 'God Appearance' (deva/devi) and 'Bodhisattva Appearance'. Peaceful Appearance is one of the Eleven Figurative forms in the Buddhist iconography of Himalayan Art. The definition is a peaceful god-like figure based on the deities of classical Indian literature and the classic Hindu pantheon.

As described in the literature of the Buddhist Sutras and Tantras, male and female figures are portrayed as beautiful, wearing silks and jewels, playful and relaxed in posture and depicted in the bloom of youth, sixteen years of age. Gender is often difficult to distinguish. Examples of these subjects are Manjushri, Lokeshvara and Maitreya for the male and Tara and Sarasvati for the female. Peaceful Appearance is generally applied to all subjects that are peaceful, non-historical human, non-wrathful, and non-buddha-like in appearance.

Jeff Watt 9-2005 [updated 5-2017]