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Rubbing of Architectural Frieze with Buddhist Figures

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Rubbing of Architectural Frieze with Buddhist Figures

535 - 557
Ink on paper

15 15/16 in. (40.5 cm)

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 2011.27.192
Other Number(s): Res 31.64 (Chapin No.)
Geography: Asia, China
Classification: Fine and Visual Arts
Culture/Nationality: Chinese
Collection: Helen B. Chapin '15 Collection

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This object has the following keywords:
  • Buddhism - Refers to the philosophy and religion based on the enlightenment and teachings of the Buddha Gautama in the early sixth century BCE in the northeastern region of modern India. Playing dominant roles in the art and culture of Southeast Asia and East Asia, this religion is based on the transcendence of human suffering and pain through the acceptance of the limitations of individuality, the surrender of worldly desires and cravings that cause disappointment and sorrow, and the deliverance from the impermanence of living and individual ego based on wealth, social position, or family through the process of enlightenment (nirvana). The religion also centers around 'anatman', or no-self, the idea that the self is in a state of action or a series of changing manifestations rather than in a state of fixed, metaphysical substance. The structure of the religion is based on the Triratna ("Three Jewels" of Buddha), a tripartite schematic for living based on three elements: Buddha (the teacher), dharma (the teaching), and sangha (community).
  • Chinese - The cultures, styles, and periods characteristic of China. To specifically refer to the cultures of ancient Chine, use "Ancient Chinese."
  • friezes - Extended horizontal bands decorating architecture, furniture, or other objects and containing figures, scenes, inscriptions, or ornamental motifs. For the specific parts of classical entablatures, see "friezes (entablature components)."
  • religion and mythology
  • rubbings - Images made by placing a material such as paper or cloth over a relief, or an incised or textured surface, and rubbing with a pigment in order to transfer the image.
  • scroll paintings - Refers to paintings having a long, narrow scroll format. Term is often used in the context of Chinese and Japanese paintings on either hanging scrolls (kakemono, if Japanese) or on handscrolls (emakimono, if Japanese). For written documents on long, rolled strips, see "scrolls (information artifacts)."
  • scrolls - Long strips of flexible material used for written documents and rolled for ease of handling and storage. For paintings on either hanging scrolls or handscrolls, use "scroll paintings."
  • sculpture - Three-dimensional works of art in which images and forms are produced in relief, in intaglio, or in the round. The term refers particularly to art works created by carving or engraving a hard material, by molding or casting a malleable material (which usually then hardens), or by assembling parts to create a three-dimensional object. It is typically used to refer to large or medium-sized objects made of stone, wood, bronze, or another metal. Small objects are typically referred to as "carvings" or another appropriate term. "Sculpture" refers to works that represent tangible beings, objects, or groups of objects, or are abstract works that have defined edges and boundaries and can be measured. As three-dimensional works become more diffused in space or time, or less tangible, use appropriate specific terms, such as "mail art" or "environmental art."
  • Wei - Refers to the culture, style, and period associated with the northern Chinese dynasty dating 386 to 556 CE, founded by the Tuoba people. The Wei dynasty succeeded the series of Sixteen Kingdoms (310-439) that ruled northern China after the collapse of the unifying Western Jin dynasty. The Northern Wei dynasty, ruled from 386 to 534 and succeeded in reunifying the north. Frontier areas revolted in 534 and the Northern Wei was succeeded by the two overlapping states of Eastern Wei (534-550) and Western Wei (535-556). Although a time of geographic division, China benefited from foreign influences and Wei institutions such as land reform, taxation, and militia systems were further developed by later Chinese dynasties. Buddhism was widely adopted during the Wei period and it quickly became the main inspiration for figurative art. The Wei rulers were great patrons of Buddhist art, commissioning vast rock-cut temples decorated with sculpture and painting at Yungang, Longmen, Mt. Maiji and Dunhuang. Although mostly melted down, many Buddhist bronze sculptures were produced. Landscape painting became more important, as seen on carved stone sarcophagi and in wall paintings.

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<ref name=BMC>cite web |url= |title=Rubbing of Architectural Frieze with Buddhist Figures |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=5/19/2022 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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