UT Knoxville ARTH 183 - Nara Period Buddhist Art and Heian Period Court Painting (4 pages)

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Nara Period Buddhist Art and Heian Period Court Painting

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Nara Period Buddhist Art and Heian Period Court Painting


Finishes covering items on Handout 16 beginning with "Shukongojin," covers through item 1 on Handout 17 ("Tale of Genji/Genji Montogari").

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University of Tennessee
Arth 183 - Asian Art
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ARTH183 1st Edition Lecture 22 Outline of Last Lecture I Kofun Period Japan Asuka Period 552 710 CE A Asuka Period distinction B Horyu ji Temple of the Exalted Law a Significance Buddhism in Japan b Form components New architectural style elements c Five Story Pagoda form Relation to Indian stupa d Kondo purpose C Shaka Triad a Subject Votive image Inscription re purpose of image b Style Elements comparable to Chinese late Northern Wei style Bodhisattvas garments serrated outline lotus thrones II Nara Period Japan 685 710 794 CE A Nara Period a Historical developments International Style Growth of Buddhism B Yakushi ji Yakushi Temple Yakushi Triad a Subject his attributes Significance to dedication b Style Comparable elements to Chinese Tang style Bodhisattvas appearance likely identities C Shukongojin what temple building and position it was located at a Hibutsu Religious connection b Subject Meaning of Vajrapani Cosmographic orientation significance Outline of Current Lecture I Nara Period Japan Buddhist Art Continued These notes represent a detailed interpretation of the professor s lecture GradeBuddy is best used as a supplement to your own notes not as a substitute A Shukongojin historical connection a Figure style Chinese influence b Form Technique clay armature Original paint c International Style influence Realism vs exaggeration B Priest Ganjin historical significance of work and subject a Figure style b Form Technique dry lacquer characteristics Sculpture function C Kichijoten a Subject mixing of religions Empress Koken b Style Similarities to Tang woman convergence of religious and secular c Function significance of garments D End of Nara Period role of Buddhism and Empress Koken II Heian Period Japan 794 1189 CE A emakimono what it is why it became popular a Vernacular novel the Tale of Genji Historical significance Author Subject B Tale of Genji Genji Monogatari characteristics of illustrations a fukinuki yatai b Death scene Homogeneity of figures Overall focus of narrative how it is shown c Role of botanical and structural architectural elements Problem these strategies solve Current Lecture Nara Period Japan Buddhist Art Continued Shukongonjin Before the Todai ji temple existed a Buddhist ascetic lived at this site at a hermitage which was made a part of the temple when it was built he was made the temple s first abbot This vajrapani is his personal deity It is hidden behind the altar and protects it from bad things coming from the North The spear like implement in his right hand is a vajra Figure is based on a Chinese model and wears Chinese style armor he is in a more typical active off balance guardian figure pose with face suffused with emotion The scarf swirling around him animates and enframes the figure Made out of clay over a wood armature sometimes with a core of straw twine or wire outer surface has more finely ground clays to make it smooth so it can take paint gilding Painting must have been very bright and intimidating in its original state with loud colors and patterning Modeling shows International Style s striving for semblance of realism as well as use of exaggeration to try and convey power bulging veins tense flexed muscles Eyes are made of inlaid stone to make them seem more alive Priest Ganjin Nara Period 8th c Earliest known extant portrait sculpture in Japan In 742 two Japanese monks went to China and invited a Chinese monk to come to Japan and perform Buddhist ordinations he set up at Todai ji ordained many brought Japanese Buddhist practice more into line with China An elderly blind man shown seated in meditative lotus posture with eyes closed Smooth curvilinear silhouette passive resting face suggests quietude of meditation Made using dry lacquer technique creating a hollow light very thin sculpture After sculpture is completed a mix of lacquer and other material like sawdust was used on the surface to create features This hollow sculpture was a reliquary it contained Ganjin s cremated remains may represent his moment of death Kichijoten Nara Period 8th c Actually depicts Chinese version of Hindu consort of Vishnu and goddess of wealth and good fortune Lakshmi she gets incorporated into the Buddhist pantheon Worship of Kichijoten was promoted by Empress Koken during the Nara Period in hope that it would bring benefits to the Japanese people A small work painted on hemp rough fabric Looks a lot like a Tang Dynasty woman in her dress and make up Hair ornaments elaborate puffy hairdo long draping gown tiny rosebud lips plumpness full face and cheeks Shows convergence of religious and secular painting Fluttery drapery and scarves creates sense of movement Variety of colors and patterns in garment used shows interest of painters in detail and techniques for rendering different fabrics especially translucency creates a very luxurious appearance Buddhism in the Nara Period comes to be like another branch of the government and temples become very important Empress Koken raised a Buddhist monk to the highest role in the government before Emperor and was toying with the idea of naming him Emperor before threatened feeling artistocratic families usurp power move capital to Heian away from all the Buddhist temples influence and try to quash the church s power Heian Period Japan 794 1185 CE Religious and secular art flourish with handscroll painting format emakimono scroll pictures becoming very popular due to interest in novels folktales collecting literature Vernacular in common language of the people novels reach height of development in the 11 th century The Tale of Genji is believed to be the oldest extant novel written at court by a woman under pseudonym Murasaki Shibuku It circles and becomes popular and well known even during her lifetime Hero Genji prince and favorite son of the Emperor is followed in his aristocratic romantic adventures Earliest illustrations date from the early 12 th century Tale of Genji Genji Monogatari att Fujiwara no Takayoshi Late Heian Period 12th c Illustrations are discrete monoscenic interspersed with the text there were probably multiple artists who worked on the paintings Almost all of the scenes are interiors of aristocratic houses fukinuki yatai blown off roof device lets us see down into rooms Outdoor walkdays and gardens are visible Scene of death of Genji s favorite consort and love of his life Murasaki not the author who he couldn t marry because of her low status Adopted daughter of Murasaki and the

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