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Art and art historical terms of early Asia

Maurya Period (dates)

321 - 185 BCE


A container made of precious material used to keep sacred relics


An image of the cosmos represented by an arrangement of circles or concentric geometric shapes used by Buddhists for meditation


In Indian architecture, an ornamented gateway arch in a temple usually leading to the stupa


In Buddhism and other religions, a form of worship performed by walking around something like a stupa in a clockwise direction, a process

Yakshi (and Yaksha)

lesser Hindu and Buddhist divinities Yakshi - female goddess of fertility, Yaksha - male god of strength

Tribhanga (tribent) pose

Pose where the body is bent in two places dividing it into three different sections

Gandhara School (dates and stylistic influences)

Artwork that was a combination of Greek, Syrian, Persian and Indian traditions

Mathura School (dates and stylistic influences)

A traditional style of Indian artwork. Artwork of the Kushan dynasty of the 1st and 2nd century AD.

Gupta Period (dates)

320 - 550 BCE

Great Stupa

200 BCE, height 35', Indian (Mauryan)

Chaitya Hall

1st century BCE - 1st century CE, Indian (Mauryan)


An East Asian tower, usually associated with a Buddhist temple, having winged eaves thought to be derived from the Indian stupa


A support beam that is anchored at one end and projects over an open space at the other


In Buddhism, a being who has attained enlightenment, but chooses to remain in this world to help others advance spiritually


Symbolic hand gestures in Buddhist art that denotes certain behaviors, actions or feelings

Theraveda Buddhism

A conservative school of Buddhism founded in India - the oldest form of Buddhism. Holds the belief that insight comes from experience, critical investigation and reasoning

Mahayana Buddhism

Larger of the 2 major forms of Buddhism. Mahayana Buddhism originated in India, and is widely practiced in China. It is a loosely bound collection of teachings with expansive list of doctrines that are able to coexist simultaneously

Western Pure Land Buddhism

Division of Mahayana Buddhism that teaches of a beautiful pure land in the west

Amida Buddhism

A sect of Mahayana Buddism devoted to Amitabha Buddha. Believers that call on him at the moment of death go to his pure land


Sanskrit term for the ritual words or syllables recited in Shingon Buddhism


Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of Confucious 551-478 BCE

Daoism (Taoism)

Term for the philosophical or religious tradition where the basic concept is to establish harmony with the tao (a mechanism of everything that exists)

Quinn Dynasty (dates)

221 - 206 BCE

Mausoleum of Emperor Shihuangdi

210 BCE, earthenware, approx. 8,000 lifesize statues, Chinese (Quinn dynasty)

Han Dynasty (dates)

206BCE - 220CE

Painted Banner, Tomb of the Marquess of Dai

160 BCE, colors on silk. 7'. Chinese (Han Dynasty)

Wei Dynasty (dates)

386-535 CE

Seated Buddha, Cave 20

450 CE, stone 45', Shanxi, Chinese (Wei Dynasty)

Tang Dynasty (dates)

618-907 CE

Great Wild Goose Pagoda

650 CE, Xian, Chinese (Tang Dynasty)

Song Dynasty (dates)

960 - 1279 CE

Travellers among Mountains and Streams

Fan Kuan, 1000 CE, hanging scroll, ink and colors on silk, 6'9" tall, Chinese (Song Dynasty)

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