Proposal for Art Hist Essay

  1. What is Chinese Buddhist art? Compare two sculptures and address the question of change in art and religion when Buddhism arrives in China. The images need to be from lecture or from the Asian Civilisations Museum.


Hi everyone! So these were the two images which I took from the Asian Civilisation Museum in Singapore. Reason why I chose this 2 sculpture to answer the question is because both the sculpture is talking about Bodhisattvas from the period of Gandhara towards the China period. Notice all the significant changes on both the sculptures.

Thesis: Compare the 2 different sculptures ( Gandhara and China Tang Dynasty ) and talks about the major influences on them. How and what exactly happened to the evolution of art in China.

20160229093651-2            IMAG5835

               Bodhisattvas                         Torso of a Bodhisattvas

                 Gandhara                                  China, Tang Dynasty

      3rd or 4th century, Schist               7th or 8th century, Stone

Intro Paragraph (250 words)

What is Chinese Buddhist Art?  

  • Early Buddhist art did not show the Buddha in human form
  • In relief sculptures at early stupa sites, Buddhas presence is indicated by symbols such as the lotus, eight spoked wheel etc.
  • Symbolic way of representing Buddha that have achieved enlightenment
  • Under the Indo-Greeks and the Kushans, the interaction of Greek and Buddhist culture flourished in the area of Gandhara
  • Influence of Greco-Buddhist art also spread northward towards Central Asia, and extended to China, Korea and Japan
  • Buddhism arrived in China around the 1st century AD
  • Buddhist missionaries and other followers of the faith came to China from India, travelling various routes along the Silk Road disseminating their faith as well as a variety of goods from the West.
  • Buddhist art diversified and evolved as it adapted to the new countries where the faith was expanding

Paragraph 2 (250 words)

Visual Analysis of Gandhara

  • Tuft of hair between eyebrows is called Urna …
  • Long earlobes. Represent ….
  • Shaved his head means ….
  • wear jewellery means ….
  • dress like Indian Princes in rich robes means….


Paragraph 3 (250 words)

Visual Analysis of China, Tang Dynasty

  • Elaborate jewellery means …
  • lower garment means ….
  • S shaped figure means …
  • Loosely hanging scarves means…


Paragraph 4 (300 words)

Conclusion and evidence of support

  • Original artistic package blended with other artistic influences from India.
  • China incorporated strong Chinese traits in its artistic expression.


  • Buddhist sculpture of the Tang evolved towards a markedly life-like expression.
  • Buddhist sculpture assumed a rather classical form, inspired by the Indian art of the Gupta period.


Total word count probably 1000.

More Info to be research and added.

Looking forward to the comments =) Thanks.




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