Tag Archives: buddhism

Sculpture of Female Attendants [Object of the Day- #75]

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These two statues are from Northern Thailand (19th Century). The one of the right, kneeling with her hands folded in front of her chest, represents a female attendant to the Buddha. To her left is a male attendant. He sits with one hand on his knee and the other holding a staff. Both pieces are […]

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Statuette from Liao Dynasty [Object of the Day #63]

Statuette from the Liao Dynasty

This gilt bronze statuette is a representation of the compassionate and venerated Guanyin, a popular figure in eastern Buddhism. The figure’s graceful stance and relaxed expression give the statue a sense of peace. In her hands, she holds a lotus bud while over her forehead, at the base of the high crown headdress, is a tiny […]

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Statue of Fudo [Object of the Day #44]

Statue of Fudo

This statue of Fudo, one of the Myo-o (Knowledge Kings), sits in the midst of fire symbolizing invulnerability. Also known as the immovable one, he is a part of a fierce class of protective deities who form an important category in Shingon art. Often depicted holding a lasso and vajra hilted sword, the statue was […]

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Seated Luohan from China [Object of the Day #17]

Seated Luohan

The Penn Museum’s luohan is one of the most famous and important pieces in the museum’s collection. The fact that it is slightly larger than life size makes it a marvel of technology. Firing something so big  is extremely hard to do without destroying the piece in the process.  The modeled  facial features also imply […]

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Xuanzang and the Silk Road Pt. 3

The iconography of Xuanzang, and its history,  is quite fascinating.   Bearing the typical shaved head of a Buddhist monk, Xuanzang is depicted in our painting with a large backpack of sutras, a canopy over his head (with a hanging incense burner) and holding a scroll in his left hand and a fly wisk in […]

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Mes Aynak

With the violence and religious extremism that has indelibly shaped the contemporary world’s perception of Afghanistan, it often goes unremembered that the region for centuries flourished as a cultural crossroads of trade and Buddhism along the Silk Road. Thirty kilometers (about nineteen miles) from the Afghan capital of Kabul, under layers of unexcavated earth, lays an […]

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Xuanzang and the Silk Road Pt. 2

In my last post I introduced a Japanese painting currently hanging in the Director’s office, here is the basic information about the piece: Title: Buddha with Sixteen Benign Deities (Shaka juuroku zenshin)  釈迦十六善神 Period: Late 17th – Early 18th century Material: Ink and Color on Silk Provenience: Japan Artist: Signed Shuho What is going on […]

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Xuanzang and the Silk Road

The Director’s office sees all kinds of visitors.  From curators and researchers to  board members and potential donors, there is a diversity of interests and topics that get addressed over light cocktails and finger foods.  For this reason we have been trying to create a focal point in the room that relates to a particularly salient exhibit or […]

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