Past Exhibitions

Chinese Buddhist Paintings from Major Kyoto Temples
August 11, 2015 - September 13, 2015

Buddhism was transmitted to China from India in the first century CE. There, various new conventions developed for depicting the historical Buddha Shakyamuni and other Buddhist deities. The wall paintings found in the caves at Dunhuang, on the Silk Road, exemplify the trends of the Tang dynasty (618–907). In the Song dynasty (960–1279), artists began producing lavish, extraordinarily detailed works in brilliant colors. Paintings from the Yuan dynasty (1271–1368) feature more contorted, grotesque forms of expression, giving them a sense of otherworldliness.
Beginning in the medieval period, many Chinese paintings were exported to Japan by way of the trading port Ningbo in China's Zhejiang province. This exhibition, in conjunction with the feature exhibition The Eastward Expansion of Buddhism, presents Chinese Buddhist paintings that have been preserved over the centuries in major temples in Kyoto.

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