Thursday, December 18, 2008

History Lesson

I've got a good library. I've been fortunate to have been given several Japanese Museum catalogs. Can't read Japanese, but I soak up as much as I can from the photos. These Japanese National Treasure (11th Century) carvings seem to be carved in cedar and are from a group of statues of bodhisattvas soaring in the sky over the Pure Land and hovering about Amitabha Tathagata with reverence and admiration. Formerly mounted on the horizontal timber of the Phoenix Hall so that they could surround the larger statue fo Amitabha, they are displayed closer to eye level in individual cases. Of the 52 statues, 28 have their musical instruments. Some of the rest are dancing, while others are attired as priests. Many retain parts of their original polychrome paint. They are in the Hosokan Byodoin Musuem

Looking at the books again wasn't so much searching for inspiration as seeking confirmation that making spiritually inspired art is valid. These lovely Bodhisattvas prove it is. Valid to the point of lasting a thousand years.

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