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ARTH406: Buddhist Art

Unit 3: Buddhist Art and Architecture in the Himalayas   *Time Estimate: 2 weeks/18 hours

This unit examines Vajrayana Buddhist Art and Architecture in Tibet and Nepal.  The unit begins with an overview of this history of Buddhism in Tibet from the sixth century onward.  It then focuses on Tibetan paintings, mandalas, and other ritual objects and two famous Buddhist monuments in Tibet, the Great Kumbum Stupa at Gyanstse, and the Potala Palace.  The second half of the unit examines Newar Buddhism practiced in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, concentrating on Nepalese painting and sculpture, and the Boudhanath and Swayambhunath stupas in the Kathmandu Valley.  After completing this unit, you will be able to identify the core beliefs and general history of Vajrayana Buddhism in Nepal and Tibet, major Tibetan and Nepalese Buddhist monuments, and the major types of Buddhist paintings, sculptures, and ritual objects made and used by Buddhist practitioners in the Himalayas.*

Unit 3 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately 20 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 3.1: 12 hours

☐    Subunit 3.2: 8 hours

Unit3 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Identify the core elements of and important historical developments in Tibetan Buddhism.
  • Identify the major kinds of ritual objects used in Tibetan and Newar Buddhism.
  • Identify major Buddhist monuments in Tibet and Nepal.
  • Compare and contrast Tibetan and Newar Buddhist works of art and monuments to Buddhist artworks and monuments in South and Southeast Asia.

  • Reading: Asian Art Museum of San Francisco’s "Sacred Arts of Tibet: Art from the Roof of the World" Link: Asian Art Museum of San Francisco’s "Sacred Arts of Tibet: Art from the Roof of the World" (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please note that this reading will cover the material you need to know for subunits 3.1.1-3.1.4.  To locate this resource,  first scroll down the webpage until you reach the subtitle “The Himalayas and the Tibetan Buddhist World”.  Then, click on the link labeled “download pdf” below the image of the book.  Please do not click on the PayPal link; you do not need to pay for this packet unless you want the paper version sent to you.  Please read pages 9-70 of “Sacred Arts of Tibet: Art from the Roof of the World”, which surveys the history of Tibetan Buddhism, major characteristics of Tibetan Buddhist Art, the Gyantse Stupa, and Potala Palace, and presents examples of the most important types of Buddhist ritual objects.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.1 Tibetan Buddhism   - Reading: Asian Art Museum of San Francisco’s "Sacred Arts of Tibet: Art from the Roof of the World" Link: Asian Art Museum of San Francisco’s "Sacred Arts of Tibet: Art from the Roof of the World" (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please note that this reading will cover the material you need to know for subunits 3.1.1-3.1.4.  First, scroll down the webpage until you reach the subtitle, “The Himalayas and the Tibetan Buddhist World,” to locate this resource (resources are listed by region).  Then click on the link labeled “download pdf” below the image of the book.  Please do not click on the PayPal link; you do not need to pay for this packet unless you want the paper version sent to you.  Please read pages 9-70 of “Sacred Arts of Tibet: Art from the Roof of the World,” that surveys the history of Tibetan Buddhism, major characteristics of Tibetan Buddhist Art, the Gyantse Stupa, and Potala Palace, and presents examples of the most important types of Buddhist ritual objects.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above

3.1.1 Tibetan Buddhist Paintings and Mandalas   - Web Media: YouTube: Emory University’s “The Tibetan Art of Thangka Painting” Link: Emory University’s “The Tibetan Art of Thangka Painting” (YouTube)
 
Instructions: Please watch this short video (2:19 minutes) about Tibetan Thangka Painting.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.1.2 Tibetan Buddhist Ritual Objects   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath Unit 3.1.  Focus specifically on pp. 48-52.

3.1.3 Great Kumbum Stupa at Gyantse   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 3.1. Focus specifically onpp. 35-37.

3.1.4 Potala Palace   - Web Media: WHTour.org’s and Tito Dupret’s “Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace, Lhasa” Interactive Map The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

[Submit Materials](/contribute/)
  • Lecture: iTunes U: Asian Art Museum of San Francisco: Robert Warren Clark’s “Ritual Objects of Tibetan Buddhism” Parts I and II and Terese Bartholomew’s “Tibetan Art: Thangkas and Sculptures,” Parts I and II Links: iTunes U: Asian Art Museum of San Francisco: Robert Warren Clark’s “Ritual Objects of Tibetan Buddhism” Parts I and II (iTunes U) and Terese Bartholomew’s “Tibetan Art: Thangkas and Sculptures” Parts I and II (iTunes U)
     
    Instructions: Please watch either Robert Warren Clark’s (listed as lectures 13 and 14) or Therese Bartholomew’s (listed as lectures 15 and 16). Click on the hyperlink titled “View in iTunes” listed in line with each lecture title to watch the video through iTunes.

    Note on the Link: These lectures by Robert Warren Clark are part of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco's “Sacred Lands, Sacred Traditions” lecture series.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

3.2 Newar Buddhist Art and Architecture in Nepal   3.2.1 Newar Buddhism   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation's "Newar Buddhism" The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

[Submit Materials](/contribute/)
  • Reading: Société Européenne pour l'Etude des Civilisations de l'Himalaya et de l'Asie Centrale: Anne Vergati’s “Image and Rituals in Newar Buddhism” Link: Société Européenne pour l'Etude des Civilisations de l'Himalaya et de l'Asie Centrale: Anne Vergati’s “Image and Rituals in Newar Buddhism

    Instructions: Please read this article about the unique characteristics of Newar Buddhist rituals in its entirety.

     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.2.2 Nepalese Buddhist Sculpture   - Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History’s “Nepalese Sculpture” Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History’s “Nepalese Sculpture” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read this introduction to Nepalese sculpture.  After you have read the text, click on “View Slideshow” to view examples of Nepalese sculpture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Click on each individual image and read the accompanying text.

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

3.2.3 Nepalese Buddhist Painting   - Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History’s “Nepalese Painting” Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History’s “Nepalese Painting” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read this introduction to Nepalese painting.  After you have read the text, click on “View Slideshow” to view examples of Nepalese painting in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Click on each individual image and read the accompanying text.

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

3.2.4 Buddhist Pilgrimage Sites in Nepal   - Reading: The Victoria and Albert Museum’s “Buddhist pilgrimage sites: Nepal” Link: The Victoria and Albert Museum’s “Buddhist pilgrimage sites: Nepal” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please read this page as an introduction to the
Buddhist pilgrimage sites of Patan and Swayambhunath.  

 Terms of Use: The linked material above has been reposted by the
kind permission of the *[Victoria and Albert
Museum](http://www.vam.ac.uk/)* and can be viewed in its original
form
[here](http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/b/buddhist-pilgrimage-sites-nepal/). 
Please note that this material is under copyright and cannot be
reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the
copyright holder.