Research Paper - Buddha as an Ascetic

Research Paper - Buddha as an Ascetic - Art History 196 L...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Art History 196 L. Robinson 04/27/10 The Buddha Shakyamuni as an Ascetic The art piece “The Buddha Shakyamuni as an ascetic” is a statue that was made around 1600 – 1700 century in China. This was around the Ming or Qing dynasty, although it is believed that this statue was made during the Yuan Dynasty, which would push us further back to the 12 th Century. That is because the type of figure depicted was usually popular during the Yuan Dynasty. The medium used to make the statue was made gilt bronze, which is the process of applying finely ground, high-karat gold in a mercury amalgam to an object of bronze. The dimensions are H. 22 in x W. 18 7/8 in x D. 22 in, or H. 55.9 cm x W. 47.9 cm x D. 55.9 cm. It can now currently be viewed in the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, under the Chinese section. The story of Buddha begins when he was first born as Prince Siddhartha Gautama around 565 B.C. in Lumbini Park in the city of Kapilavastu in the ancient northern India, which is today known as Nepal. Siddhartha means “he who achieves his goal.” An astrologer by the name of Asita predicted that he would one day become either a very wealthy and successful king, or a great religious and spiritual teacher. His father, the king, wanted him to follow in his footsteps and become a mighty king. He tried his best to lock Siddharta in the palace to avoid showing the cruel and harsh realities that the outside world had in store for him. The prince finally grew up being an intelligent young man and married with a beautiful princess whom he had a son with. Even thought his life was so perfect, he was mostly unhappy. In an attempt to give his son happiness, King Suddhodana arranged four trips outside the city of Kapilavastu, one through each of its four gates. During the first trip, he had an encounter with an old man. He was devastated to see the man with white hair, feebly walking with the help of a staff. He soon learned that this was a man with an old age and that it will soon come to him as
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
well. During the second trip, he encountered a sick man, while on the third he saw the corpse of a man. On the last trip, he met a monk who became an ascetic to receive liberation and freedom. This man became the inspiration of who Siddharta wanted to become. After a debate with his father, he soon moved out of the palace and renounced everything he had. He came to a pleasant hermitage by a lovely stream where he decided to practice asceticism for 6 years. He met with 5 other mendicants who later became his followers. The six of them started fasting in an extreme manner – Buddha only ate a single grain of rice for each of the first two years, drank a single drop of water for the following two years, and then took nothing during the last two years. At that time, his body has become very weak and his skin was so thin with almost no flesh that you could see the ribs and bones. This is the point where he decided that practicing asceticism did not help at all. This figure shows one of the most important moments in Buddha’s life before he achieved
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

Page1 / 7

Research Paper - Buddha as an Ascetic - Art History 196 L...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online