Toward a Methodology for the Study of Buddhist Fine Art: (using an example of Zanabazar’s works)

русская версия

DOI https://doi.org/10.31696/2618-7043-2023-6-3-4-534-547
Affiliation: Институт востоковедения РАН
Sections HISTORY OF THE EAST. Historiography, source critical studies, historical research methods
Pages 534 - 547

The article provides a comparative analysis of different approaches to the study of Buddhist iconography and objects of religious art: scientific academic and traditional Buddhist. Their main goals and objectives, understanding of the fine art style in art history and the Buddhist tradition are considered. The possibility and necessity of using diverse sources of research, or rather, the complex and multidisciplinary principle of working with cult images of Buddhas, bodhisattvas and deities for the most profound and adequate understanding of them, as well as exhibiting them in a museum or other exhibition space, is argued. The ideal model for the development of such a research methodology, in the author's opinion, is the work of the greatest Buddhist master Gombodorjiin Zanabazar (1635–1723), who combined the qualities of both an artist, a highly educated Buddhist adept, spiritual mentor, and a ruler of the state. The types of written and other verbal sources, as well as the types of objects or visual sources that should be used to reveal the theme of Buddhist artistic creativity are considered. It was also made an attempt to formulate the most urgent tasks and promising directions for researchers of Tibeto-Mongolian Buddhists fine arts.

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