Analysis of The Meeting of Bodhisattvas Essay

638 Words Dec 24th, 2014 3 Pages
Tianna Ferroni!
Art 102!
Amiko Matsuo!
Museum Paper!
Meeting of the Bodhisattvas Manjusri and Samantabhadra!

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Bodhisattvas in Buddhist culture are deemed enlightened and are worshiped as deities.
Therefore it is logical for one of the biggest Buddhist cultures to have constructed a sculpture in their honor. Created during the Tang Dynasty in 742 by an unknown artist in
China, the sculpture “Meeting of the Bodhisattvas Manjusri and Samantabhadra” pays homage to the bodhisattvas Wenshu and Puxian. This sculpture made of limestone is roughly a foot and a half tall, nearly two feet long, and ten inches in depth. Used for spiritual practice, this piece was meant to offer viewers a means of being closer to their bodhisattvas. !
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This piece
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The elephant can also correspond to earthiness by the human figures that stand by them, allowing an earth dweller to be so close to a deity. The human to the left is looking up to Wenshu, with an admiring look upon their face. On the back of the elephant to the right is what appears to be a lion. In Chinese culture, lions are a symbol of strength and power and are known guardians to the elite. !
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At the head of each deity is a very prominent halo. These halos show how each

is an enlightened being, elevating their divinity. This can reinforce the idea that viewers would pray to this sculpture to feel more connected to their enlightened bodhisattvas.
Between Wenshu and Puxian are seven small figures. They are set in three rows, with two rows of three and a solitary figure atop. Each figure is sitting cross-legged with their arms folded in their laps. The top, individual figure is slightly larger than it’s counterparts. The face has been eroded but viewers can still make out the general shape. It is possible that these seven figures stand for the seven factors of enlightenment. !

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This image of Wenshu and Puxian sitting in a fearless manner, upon !

elephants is one not likely to be forgotten. Boddisattvas were revered during the Tang
Dynasty (618-907) as Buddhism was now dominant and prosperous. This dedicated sculpture does more than just depict Wenshu and Puxian meeting, it allows religious followers to feel more