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Characteristic Statues of Tibetan Buddhism in China


Tibetan Buddhist sculpture in the Ming and Qing Dynasties has its own unique characteristics.


The sculpture “Mountain of 500 Arhats” carved out of purple sandalwood, the Buddhist niche carved out of nanmu wood and the Grand Buddha carved out of white sandalwood in the Yong he Lamasery in Beijing are praised as the “three matchless pieces of wood sculpture”. The Grand Buddha is carved out of a single log of white sandalwood, with 18 m of it above the ground and the other eight meters below ground. The “Mountain of 500 Arhats” is nearly 5 m high, 3.5 m wide and 30 cm thick. The 500 arhats, each 10 cm high, are made of gold, silver, bronze, iron and tin. These Buddhist sculpture are just similar as the one discovered along your Tibet tours.



Statues of the Buddha in the tradition of Tibetan Buddhism (also known as Lamaism) are mostly made of gilded bronze, but some are made of gold or silver. In the collections of artistic works in the Palace museum, there are many precious pieces, such as the standing statue of Maitreya and the seated statue of Sakyamuni is 45 cm tall; together with the halo and the lotus-throne pedestal, the statue is 90.5 cm high in total. With his right shoulder exposed Sakyamuni is rotating the “wheel of the law” (an emblem of the power of the Buddhist doctrine, which crushes all delusions and superstitions just as a wheel crushed anything it passes over). The simplicity of the statue itself forms a distinct contrast with the splendor of the halo and lotus throne. No Chinese culture discovery is complete without including the Buddhists figures exploration along your last minute deals for China travel.



The imperial mausoleums of the Ming and Qing Dynasties are guarded by monumental stone animals. In the Xiaoling Mausoleum of the Ming Dynasty in Nanjing, on each side of the tomb passage are lined up 12 pairs of six stone animals, namely, lions, xiezhi (a fabulous animal reputed to be able to distinguish between good and evil), camels, elephants, qilin (Chinese unicorn) and horses, and two pairs of civil officials and military officers. The Ming Tombs near Beijing cover an area of about 40 sq km. eighteen pairs of grandiose stone civil and military officials and animals line the approach to the mausoleum.



Miniature carvings using jade, stone, ivory, bamboo, horn, wood and clay materials were quite will developed in Ming and Qing Dynasties. There was a special jade workshop installed in the former Imperial Palace during the Ming Dynasty. A masterpiece of the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty is a huge jade carving weighing seven tons, titled, “Yu the Great (reputed founder of the Xia Dynasty) Harnessing the Floods”. In addition, the wood carvings of Dongyang, Zhejiang Province, and the clay figurines of Huqiu in Suzhou, Huishan in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, are quite famous, but most of them were made by unkown artisan. The colored clay figures made by “Zhang the Clay-figurine Master” of Tianjin in the late Qing Dynasty are vivid and lively, demonstrating the extraordinary workmanship of folk sculptors.



These year, Chinese-culture-lover becomes more and more, which makes so many China tour agents arrange the Tibetan Buddhist sculpture exploration activities in their itineraries, which is really a great reflection of Chinese culture.



  1. 2012/11/16(金) 00:23:51|
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