The Great Stupa - Davidson Fine Arts

Art of India and
Southeast Asia
The Great Stupa
(Sanchi, India)
completed first
century CE
Siddhartha Gautama/
Buddhism/ nirvana/
stupa/ path at the
base of the dome/
symbols of the
Buddha’s presence/
cosmic diagram of the
world mountain/
Use of sensuous figures (yakshi)
harmika/ yasti/chatras
Roman copy of the
omphalos from
The Enlightenment from the west gateway of the
Great Stupa (Sanchi, India), c. 50-25 BCE
The Great Departure, the east gateway of the Great
The Great Departure, the east gateway of the Great
Interior of chaitya hall (Karli, India) c. 100
Section (left) and plan (right) of chaitya hall at Karli
Seated Buddha from
Gandhara (Pakistan), 2nd
to 3rd century, stone
a new image of the
Buddha/ bhakti/ dukha
and the Four Noble
Truths/ bodhisattvas/
lakshanas/ ushnisha/
urna/ three bodies of
Buddha/ asceticism/
Greco-Roman influence
The Four Great Miracles (Gandhara), 2nd century, schist
Seated Buddha preaching
the first sermon, from
Sarnath (India) fifth
century CE
Halo and the Bodhi tree
at Bodh Gaya/ Deer Park
near Sarnath/ strong
degree of abstract
idealism found in the
Gupta style/ mudra/
dharma/ long-lobed ears/
broad shoulders and thin
waist/ image of a yaksha
Left: Abhaya-mudra (granting protection to devotees
and dispelling fear)
Right: Varada-mudra (denotes a deity’s charity, or
power to grant a wish or fulfill a vow)
Left: Dhyana-mudra (denotes intense concentration
during meditation)
Right: Dharmacakra-mudra, the “turning of the
Wheel of the Law” (gesture of teaching)
Left: Vitarka-mudra (denotes exposition or argument,
another form of teaching)
Right: Vajra-mudra (symbolizes the supreme widsom
of Adi-Buddha (Vairocana), especially in his Japanese
manifestation as Dai Nichi; also symbolizes a mystical
sexual union for Tantric adepts)
Left: Bhumisparsha-mudra, or “touching the earth,”
(most common in Thailand, a gesture made at the
point of Enlightenment)
Right: Anjali-mudra (symbol of supplication or
Shiva as
Mahadeva in
rock-cut temple
India), sixth
Shiva as
Mahadeva/ three
colossal faces
with three
Garbha griha
at Elephanta
garbha griha/
Vishnu Temple
(Deogarh, India),
early sixth century
Hinduism/ Brahma/
Vishnu/ use of Hindu
temple as a
residence for a god/
darsan/ purusha/
mandala/ more
sculptural than
Vishnu Reclining
on the Serpent of
(Deogarh), early
sixth century
32 padadevatas (divinities in the square borders)/
nakshatras/ Brahmasthana
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