Nepalese Buddhist Art and Its Importance

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It describes the special features of Newar Buddhist art and its dissimination in the foreign countries

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Nepalese Buddhist Art and its importanceBy Min Bahadur ShakyacontentsIntroduction Origin of Buddhist Paintings History of Nepalese Paintings Diffusion of Nepalese Buddhist art outside Nepal Textual Source for Buddhist Arts Contribution of Nepalese Buddhist artists ConclusionIntroduction Introductionof Buddhist painting in the life time of the Buddha. Story of Bimbisara and Udrayana Story of Wheel of Life according to Divyavadana Story of MuktalataDiffusion of Nepalese art outside NepalTibet China LadakhContribution of Nepalese artists in Tibet, China and Ladakh 1.Prince Bhrikuti in Tibet-7th century 2.Dunhoung Cave in China-9th century 3.Beijing and Wutai shan in 13th century 4.Earliest Paubha paintings at Sakyamonastery13th century 5. 1st Panchen Lama and Maitreya statue-16th century 6.Lama Taranaths commission in Ngor temple 7.Fifth Dalai Lama in 1659 mentions 8 Nepalese artists: 8.Largest metal image in Ladakh, the gigantic statue of Sakyamuni Buddha in the monastery of shey, was erected in the 17th century by artists from Nepal:1.Prince Bhrikuti in Tibet-7th centuryFirst Buddha image was brought to Lhasa from Nepal in 634 C.E by Princess Bhrikuti Devi, the wife of King srong bstan Gampo.One of these was was an image of the Jina Aksobhya with a gilded face, in the Ramoche. The statue of an eleven headed Avalokiteshvara in Jokhang was made by a newar artist during his period. The suggestion that Newar architects and builders and all the neccessary craftsmen were sent from Nepal for the work on Jokhang during first half of seventh century is echoed by von schroders statement that the elaborately carved panels of a sculpted door beam inside the temple clearly represent Nepalese workmanship.List of imagesSahasrabhuja Lokeshvara Bhrikuti Arya Tara Marici Sarasvati HayagrivaJowo Shakyamuni Buddha in LhasaNepalese artist at Dunhoung Caves 775-815C.E.According to Sir Aurel Stein, Nepalese artist painted a part of a fresco in one of the cave at Dunhoung. If Steins judgement is correct, then its date can be assigned to 775-825 C.E.Certainly more research is needed in this case.Dunhoung CavesBuddha with his attendant BodhisattvasNepalese at Sakya MonasteryDuring the period of predominance of the order of the monastery of Sakya, in southern Tibet, teams of Newar artists were invited to work by the abbots of the sa-skya monasteries. Large images of Nepalese origin in a chapel at the monastery of Sakya are visible in a picture taken by Tucci and reproduced by Von schroeder.Sakya monasteryEarliest Paubhas of NepalEarliest Paubhas at Central Tibet -Sakya monastery RatnaSambhava Buddha BuddhaLos Angeles County Museum, AmitabhaMuseum of Fine Arts, Boston AmoghsiddhiPhiladelphia Museum of Art, Stella Kramrisch CollectionContd.Works of ArnikoGolden Pagoda of Sakya monastery White Pagoda of Beijing White Pagoda of Wutaishan Painting of green Tara Portrait of Emperor Kubilai Khan Portrait of Empress ChabiPortrait of Empress ChabiEmperor Kubilai KhanNgor Mandalas139 Mandalas paintings at Ngor Monastery by Nepalese artistsNgor MonasteryNgor Mandala of Jnana dakiniVajravarahi MandalaTaranatha commissions seven BuddhasTaranatha also commissioned seven Newar artists to make many haloes to be placed around the heads of some statues. Again twenty Newar sculptors made the image of the seven Buddhas of the past aeons for the entrance hall to the Ngor temple.Gedun rGyatsho-2nd Dalai LamaNewar sculptors erected two well known statues in the monastery of Tashilhunpo founded in 1445 near Shigatse a twenty five cubit statue of the Maitreya Buddha And another is goddess White Tara 1st panchen Lama 1567-1662, witnessed the casting of an image of Maitreya by Newar sculptors in 1604.Maitreya at Tashilhunpo MonasteryFifth Dalai Lama and Nepalese ArtistsNewar sculptors continued to operate in Tibet, and the names of eight of them are recorded in the autobiopgraphy of the 5th Dalai Lama under the year 1659.They are 2. Dshyo-ban 3. Siddhi 4. Mangal 5. Dharmadeva 6. Jayasingh 7. Amarajati 8. Dselakhrang 9. Khra-papsu-tsa and they also made a portrait of him.Near Shey Gompa in LadakhTextual source on Buddhist ArtsBuddhapratimalakSana Sutra Citralaksana Atreyatilaka or Pratimalaksana shastra Dasatalanyagraodhaparimandala Pratimalaksanavivarana Citrakarmashastra by Manjusri-edited by Marasinghe Devasthapanaya by TissakariyavasamConclusionThe purpose of this presentation is to important contribution made by Nepalese artists through millennium. If Nepalese artists are aware of our past heritage, then we should keep it their legacy with sincerity. I appeal to all of our artists here present to work and study diligently how our past eminent artists contributed for the enhancement of our Nepalese heritage.We should study their biographies, methods of work they created and so forth Thank you