Buddhist Art Essay

1168 words - 5 pages

        India (Seated Buddha, India, Soutest Asia, 11th century )

        China(Probably Shakyamuni (Shijiarmouni), the historical Buddha, China, middle Tang dynasty, ca AD 700-800)

The representation of Buddha in India and China had some similarities and were taken from the origin of a religion Buddhism which initially came from India, and then over the centuries spread to China. Instead of just mere copying, Chinese art evolved the image of Buddha, making it its own innovation, and also presented other deities which were not known in India. In history, a classical period if Indian culture differed from that of Chinese in politics, artistic styles, religion and so on. India did influence China somewhat, though China remained to be less changed than influenced by Middle East and Mediterranean diverse cultures as India was.

China was one of the first of the great classical societies, and being isolated from other cultures formed intense and distinctive Chinese identity. The first of China was built on Hwang He practices of yin and yang- basic harmony of nature where individual should seek Dao (a way) to relate to this harmony. In classical period China did change its culture, changing into more diverse culture, developed politically and artistically, later becoming well-integrated, as a result. The nation's political and cultural innovations began in the Zhou dynasty (1029-258), where the emphasis was on order in and control over China. In early centuries agriculture affected China, which in Zhou dynasty became rich and more efficient to serve population. Also Confucius in 6th and early 5th centuries introduced new philosophy that made China more distinct. Eventually though, Zhou dynasty, during the Era of Warring states (402-201BC), was disintegrated. After, Qin Shih Huangdi was of so called Qin Dynasty, the First Emperor of China. During the time, Chinese territory extended further to the south, with that also agriculture was able to further itself. After Qin Shih Huangdi's death, Han dynasty (202 BC - 220 AD) was established, just then China made connection with India when extending its border. Confucianism was supported during that time, but even with similar advances, soon after the dynasty fell apart.

From the Zhou dynasty, Chinese speculated about God and the mysteries of heaven. Major beliefs in China reflected the importance of "harmonious earthy life." Also Confucius began to teach of political virtue and good government and stressed respect for "one's social superiors", avoiding abusive power. This philosophy, as mentioned, was revived under Han dynasty. Later Legalism was stressed and Confucianism wasn't supported by the government, though legalism wasn't favored by the people and wasn't widespread in China. In waning centuries of Zhou dynasty, Daoism (Dao- the way of nature) was somewhat supported, but mostly by upper classes, at least in the earlier centuries. Chinese art was largely decorative,...

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