Essay on Siddhartha Gautama Changed Over Time

1129 Words Nov 23rd, 2015 5 Pages
Siddhartha Gautama transformed history in the fifth century BCE. When the famous Indian prince renounced his royal life and reached nirvana, the Buddhist philosophy was born. Being the first Buddha, he became the inspiration for all iconic Buddhist art. Although artistic styles, visual conventions, and iconography change over time, the iconography of the classic anthropomorphic Buddha, first developed in northern India, managed to span the tests of time and expand into other regions of Asia such as Thailand and Cambodia centuries later. Keep in mind that the original Indian Buddhist artists did not believe in representing the Buddha in an anthropomorphic form. When Buddhism was first developing, the Buddha would typically have been represented in an an-iconic form as a pair of footprints or an empty space on top of a chair, animal, or underneath an umbrella. However, these principles of representation changed over time and the Buddha was eventually represented in a human form, beginning in the first century CE in the region of Mathura and also in Gandhara. New iconography was created to be associated with the Indian Buddha: elongated earlobes, an urna (third eye to represent wisdom), an ushnisha (cranial protuberance), a simple monastic robe, a halo, a mudra (hand gesture), a contemplative expression, and an absence of ornamentation. These artistic characteristics were meant to present the Buddha as a divine, serene, and austere figure, inspiring onlookers to channel the…

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