Himalayan Art Resources

Subject: Teachers Main Page

Teachers Main Page | Abstract Concepts in Art Glossary

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Teacher Description (below)
- Historical Shakyamuni Buddha
- Patriarchs & Sthavira (Elders/Arhat)
- Six Ornaments & Two Excellent Ones
- Eighty-four Mahasiddha
- Lineage Teachers & Depictions
- Traditions of Teachers
- Iconic, Idealized & Mythical Teachers
- Guruyoga & Current Teachers
- The Guru in Iconography
- Female Teachers
- Portrait Painting
- Others...

Types of Teachers by Appearance (both genders):
- Lay Teachers (including Yogis)
- Monastic
- Siddha

Types of Depiction & Composition:
- Single & Multiple Figure Composition (Painting)
- Field of Accumulation
- Lineage Main Page
- Incarnation Lineage
- Photo Realism
- Guruyoga Depictions
- Literary Genre & the Teacher
- Others...

The abstract subject of Teachers is very important in Himalayan style art because so many figurative works, both painting and sculpture, are dedicated to the depictions of individual teachers, groups of teachers, and entire lineages of teachers. Portrait art is essentially portraits of teachers. Teachers can also refer to iconic and mythical figures such as buddhas, arhats, deities, dakinis and others. Important topics are: terms, textual sources, differences in various textual sources, historical teachers and categories, current teachers and categories.

Human teachers existing within historical memory are the easier of the Teacher types to understand. In the system of the Eleven Figurative Forms there are monastics, lay and siddha figures of both genders that can be referred to as teachers. The buddhas, arhats, mythical kings of the past, along with the pantheon of deities is understood through the tools of iconography.

Alongside the general descriptions of the three main types of human teachers (guru) by appearance, how the teacher is understood from the side of iconography and in the practice of Guruyoga is also important. Literary genre plays an active role in how the teachers are depicted in specific contexts and compositions.

Jeff Watt 3-2017 [updated 12-2018]