Siddhartha Gautama Iconography

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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 …show more content…
The presence of jewelry does not take away from the fact that the figure presented is still a Buddha. The “Adorned Buddhas,” including Buddha B, can be explained by a number of reasons including a reference to his former life as a prince, a reference to his possible future life as a monarch (proposed to him before his decision to search for enlightenment), or a reference to when he converted the Emperor Jambupati (van Beek 29). Even though Buddha B was created with different stylistic elements, it doesn 't completely contradict classic Indian Buddhist beliefs. It simply re-vamps them and mixes them with Thai Buddhist beliefs. Buddha B and Buddha A complement each other as they show the development of visual expression. Even though certain stylistic elements have changed over time, both examples encompass classic Indian Buddhist beliefs through their iconography, providing evidence that these classic features were able to span the tests of

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