SOAS University of London

Department of the History of Art and Archaeology, School of Arts

Felicity, Power, and Piety: Social and Religious Trends in the

Dr Alexandra Green (University of Hong Kong)

Date: 22 October 2008Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 22 October 2008Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B104

Type of Event: Seminar

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in Burma numerous temples and meditation cells were embellished with elaborate murals depicting the twenty-eight previous Buddhas, the life of Gotama Buddha, and the ten great Jataka stories, as well as some non-canonical imagery. After visiting a number of sites, the viewer starts to realise that the paintings and the stories represented share many similar features. The previous Buddhas all make the renunciation in a rigid sequence of events; Gotama's horse, Kanthaka, dies in the same position every time; and the Jatakas are illustrated using the same scenes. This talk will establish the nature of the standardisation of late Burmese wall paintings and present possible reasons - religious, social, and political - for this trend.

Organiser: Dr Crispin Branfoot and Dr Elizabeth Moore

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