Volume 49 – Number 3
A popular subject in the visual culture of the Tibetan-speaking Himalayan regions and the Tibetan plateau is the tantric adept Padmasambhava, who appears in various iconographic forms. Currently celebrated in an exhibition at The Rubin Museum of Art, the master that introduced Buddhism to 8th century Tibet is the focus of our first article, by curator Elena Pakhoutova. We then move on to Ladakh, with Gerald Kozicz and Diana Lange’s discussion of the Minister’s Palace, or Zimskhang, at Hunder. Situated at the junction of a cross-Himalayan road network, the palace displays an eclectic variety of artwork, shedding new light on the region’s history. Also on the theme of architecture is Julia A. B. Hegewald’s introduction to Jaina temples and the aspects that make them distinct.
The next two articles relate to Chinese painting. Eugene Y. Wang narrates the development of ‘haze’ and how it blazed new paths in Chinese art, while On-tsun Andrew Fung explores the figure paintings of Yu Ming and his engagement with both tradition and modernity.
The relief Offering Procession of the Empress as Donor with Her Court, originally from the Binyang Central Cave at Longmen in China and now in the US, has long been regarded as a canonical example of Chinese figural sculpture. In his article, Fletcher Coleman presents new material documenting the relief’s removal and restoration. Meanwhile, Chiara Visconti offers a fresh view on the origin of the Chinese porcelain cargo discovered in the Umm Lajj shipwreck.
COVER: Transformation tableau
based on the Visualization Sutra (detail)
North wall, Mogao Cave 320,
Dunhuang, Gansu province, China
(Image courtesy of Dunhuang Research Academy)
(see p. 77)
Detail of Scenes from the life of Padmasambhava
Tibet, c. 18th century
Pigments on cloth, 120 x 250 cm
Ethnographic Museum of the University of Zurich
(see pp. 48–49)