The Asian Art Museum
Topic: The Seated Buddha.
From the Buddha art displayed in a sitting position, we get to learn so much about Buddhism as well as the godly representation through the piece of art. Through it, we also get to learn about the history of Buddhism, what it entails, and what their practices mean. It is a very valuable and informative piece of art.
The photo below represents Buddha; it is a clear representation of the history of Buddha culture and religion.
This artwork was done in the year 338 AD. It was produced in China and at the time of its production, it was 500 years after Buddhism was transmitted from India to China. It is one of the most important and special bronze sculptures to survive from all that time till the present day. This work was greatly influenced and encouraged by artists from the region called Gandhara which was an area inclusive of some parts of India, Japan, and Afghanistan. It was an imitation of Indian art objects brought to china at the time when Buddhism was being transmitted from India to China.
This piece of art is attributed to Later Zhao, which was a state small in size and founded by Jie. These were non-Chinese people from central Asia and in the 4th century, they controlled the central plain of China. In 310 a Buddhist teacher and believer had settled in the central plains. His name was founding. He was considered as the religious counselor as well as a military adviser for most of the leaders of that time. Through his preaching, he influenced the third king of Zhao by the name Shi Hu. The king believed that the Buddha was miraculous and worshipped him for victory blessing to be upon him.
At that time gold was expensive in china and therefore the artists did coat the bronze with a little layer of gold. This was mainly for purposes of preventing tarnishing of the statute. Mercury gilding is an art that had been practiced for a very long, approximately 2000 years ago. Gold and mercury were melted and then applied on the bronze surface for it to be able to be preserved and gilded.
Display of Buddha
In the online museum library in America the Buddha being of very great importance it is placed strategically so that everyone who wishes to see it can see it with great ease. This is because even though people view different works of art within the library every person is always attracted to see the Buddha statue which is very common. The strategic location and convenient position/ locality as well helps us to see it and admire as well as appreciate beauty, history, and culture all of them intertwined together in one photo which speaks a lot.
This work of art about Buddha employs a very wide range of styles and this helps us to understand it or explain it more vividly and clearly. Some of the styles employed herein include cubism, Dadaism, expressionism, neo-classicism, etc.
These styles are very important because it is through them that we can analyze and see the desires of the artists herein as well as capture the message that the artists so ardently wanted to communicate to the person engaging with his/her artwork.
This is the style whereby objects of art are analyzed keenly, broken down into single pieces, and then re-assembling the art in a complex manner. In this style, the artists instead of presenting ideas and other concerns in the art as individual items, display them as separate works, and through this, there is a wider range of variety, therefore, bringing in more understanding about the piece of art. The movement was primarily Pablo Picasso together with Georges Braque. It came into existence around the year 1907.
This is the theory which led to other styles like constructivism and neoplasticism. Cubism is also involved in determining the 3-dimensional form of any work of art and therefore for every work analyzed using this style we have to get the 3-dimensional view of the work through the presentation of the various ideas in a complex manner. According to Georges Braque, the works of Paul Cezanne greatly influenced this style because even from his drawings it was clear that he had a different style in which he drew with which was completely not in peace with the other conventional styles used by other artists. His works were mostly inspired by African tribal masks which had unique characteristics.
There are two types of cubism which are analytical cubism and synthetic cubism. These two are different in terms of intensity of complexity. Analytical is deeper while synthetic is not as deep as analytical. Concerning Buddha, it is correct to say that Buddha is a complex artwork to analyze first of all. The second issue would be that it is possible and easy for it to be demonstrated in a more diverse and 3-dimensional manner.
Expressionism is the style concerned with the attitude of digging deeper into art and realizing more than what is represented just from the outward view of the art. It involves tenets like psyche, body, self, spirit, and nature. From this point of view, it can also be said that expressionism is characterized by psyche, nature, spirit, body, and self. This style is about harnessing the issues faced on daily basis or rather the common happenings of our lives and putting them out to the public in admirable ways. This pushes people to think about themselves at once and by doing this they come to the realization about life and they decide what course they will walk along in this life.
This style does not only refer to the people rethinking about themselves after being exposed through expressionism but also about ancient arts of work like the Buddha which dates back to 338 AD. Therefore this style can be clearly and in a beautiful manner be employed in the art of the Buddha whereby it is very expressive and this expressiveness can be harnessed and explained in a more clear and detailed manner to get people to understand every aspect of this style as well as every aspect of the Buddha.
This is a theory that began in the 1970s and it has lasted since then. It is the style that is mainly concerned with “emphasizing the austere linear design in the depiction of classical themes and subject matter, using archaeologically correct settings and clothing,” (David Irwin,01). This style mainly focuses on the concerns of the art which was written later but basis its representation on things or activities that happened in ancient times. This is very important especially when it comes to the Buddha artwork. This is because it is a representation of what Indians had made and which was transmitted to China. This is because Buddhism came to China after 500 years of its existence in India and therefore the making of the sculpture of Buddha was a sign of learning from the Indian people and portraying the ancient in the past.
The artwork description is very important as it is what makes the people who know nothing about a certain artwork know it from the description and be able to visualize it.
In this work of art which is a sculpture of Buddha the use of line is perfect as a line is used to draw boundaries and to end parts of the sculpture such as the hair, sleeves, etc. line is not connected throughout but keeps on ending and reappearing.
This is whereby within a work of art there is a clear distinction of shape whereby the shape has both width and length. In the sculpture of Buddha, this is not employed.
Space being the area within or outside of the artwork can be seen in different ways. Almost every work of art has this tenet because it refers to any space out or within the artwork. Therefore in the artwork of Buddha is very clear that space is very well represented because there is space in and out of the artwork. In refers to the space inside the sculpture which if it was a real person would be the internal organs and systems of a human being but since it is an artwork it can be referred to as space filled with solid or void space.
This is the darkness or the lightness of a color. It is one of the most essential elements of art and therefore it is represented in the sculpture of Buddha in a very good and special manner because the darkness and lightness of the color used are very well balanced making it visible in a clear manner.
Color is used in a good quality combination which appeals aesthetically to the eyes of the viewer and this helps us to understand better what it means to have this sculpture of Buddha. Different colors have different psychological meanings and can also have different effects on the people who look at them.
Analysis of any work of art is based on a different principle of designs which include; balance, repetition and rhyme, scale and proportion, emphasis (focal point), movement, and harmony.
Balance is displayed in this work of art because it is fully balanced and cannot fall easily. The art is made like a human being seated and therefore enjoys almost similar balance qualities to a human being. Repetition is also employed in the sculpture about Buddha, this is because several lines are repeated and patterns and shapes as well. This leads to rhyme which makes the work of art even more attractive.
The scale is very accurate as the Buddha is almost the same size as a normal human being and proportion as well is appropriately employed in the making of the sculpture. Emphasis is laid on the top part of the best of the Buddha because it is what is most important and also what is visible when the Buddha is sited. Movement is also perfectly implied. This is because even though the Buddha cannot move the artwork implies that if he was to move the first thing he would do was to stand. The visual elements are perfectly interconnected and work very well.
This is a work which is extra-ordinary and can be called a masterpiece.
This is a great work which is very attractive and how it was created makes it appeal the most people. It is very well composed and it shows that art existed even before and we can relate to this and desire to produce these kinds of works more and more because it can be the basis of what we do and it does not get old.
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Ch’en, Kenneth Kuan Sheng, et al. Buddhism in China: A historical survey. Vol. 1. Princeton University Press, 1964.
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