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Elements of Buddhist Iconography

 
Ananda K. Coomaraswamy (Author)
Synopsis

The present work is an analysis of Buddhist symbolism in historical perspective. In author's view Buddhist symbolism, in art and religion, is but a part of the main current of Indian religion and art and has to be studied in that context. Early Indian art is, thus, essentially the continuation of a mainly aniconic "Vedic" style and the compositions are comprehensible only with reference to Vedic notions. The present work studies the fundamental elements of Buddhist symbolism which predominate in the early aniconic art and are never dispensed with in the later imagery, though they are subordinated to the "human" icon. "The present study is divided into two parts: in part I, the tree of life, earth-lotus and world-wheel (and other cognate symbols) have been analyzed; part II deals with the place of the lotus-throne. A study of these reveals that they represent a universal Indian symbolism and set of theological concepts.

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About the author

Ananda K. Coomaraswamy

Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy, the greatest among the Indian art-historians, was born in Colombo on August 22, 1877. After graduating from the University of London he became the director of the Mineralogical Survey of Ceylon. Between 1906 and 1917, when he joined as the Curator of Indian Art in the Boston Museum he was busy lecturing on Indian art and formed societies for the study of Indian art. In 1938, he became the chairman of National Committee for India’s Freedom. His contributions on Indian philosophy, religion, art and iconography, painting and literature are of the greatest importance as were his contributions on music, science and Islamic art. He died on September 9, 1947.

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Bibliographic information

Title Elements of Buddhist Iconography
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.12.2008
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 8121502462
length 103p., 44 illustrations; 8.5" x 11.0"