Buddhist Paintings

The Beauty of Esoteric Buddhist Iconographic Drawings: Vivifying Representations
July 2, 2019 - August 12, 2019

Iconographic drawings are the genesis for much of esoteric Buddhism’s art and visual culture. While their purpose is to transmit the correct modes of representing Buddhist deities in paintings and sculpture, in modernity, many iconographic drawings came to be appreciated as artworks in their own right: they were provided with lavish mountings and used to decorate the alcoves of tearooms and other important spaces. As accuracy was essential to their function, they were usually produced by tracing other drawings or artworks. While simpler than Buddhist paintings in colors on silk, these monochrome sketches have played an essential role in passing down Buddhist imagery over time and geographic space.

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