FORUM FOR ANTHROPOLOGY AND CULTURE

ANTROPOLOGICHESKIJ FORUM
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Antropologicheskij forum, 2017, no. 33

 

A Review of “OBITEL MILOSERDIYA”: ISKUSSTVO TIBETSKOGO BUDDIZMA [“ABODE OF MERCY”: TIBETAN BUDDHIST ART]. St Petersburg: State Hermitage Press, 2015, 512 pp.

Elena Ivanova

Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), Russian Academy of Sciences
3, Universitetskaya Emb., St Petersburg, Russia
elivan@kunstkamera.ru

Abstract: At the end of 2015, the catalogue of the exhibition “‘Abode of Mercy’. Tibetan Buddhist Art” was published and became an event of great scientific importance. This was yet another large-scale publication of exhibition catalogues after “Buddhist Painting from Khara-Khoto” (2006) and “The Caves of One Thousand Buddhas” (2008) that presents the collections held in the stores of the Oriental Art Department at the State Hermitage. These collections represent the art of northern Buddhism from Tibet and the neighbouring countries that adopted the Tibetan form of Buddhism. This monumental work is the result of many years of in-depth research of the unique collections of works of the Buddhist art of Central Asia created in the 8th–20th centuries and collected by such eminent scholars as Pyotr Kozlov, Esper Ukhtomsky, Yuri Roerich, and others, conducted by the Hermitage staff members K. F. Samosyuk and Yu I. Elikhina. Significant portions of the sculptures and thangkas presented in the reviewed catalogue are introduced into scientific circulation for the first time (with the exception of some sculptures from the collection of Ukhtomsky, which became known to the scientific world at the beginning of the last century thanks to the work of the German scientist A. Grünwedel, some thangkas from Khara-Khoto (from Kozlov’s collection) described by outstanding Russian scholar Sergey Oldenburg, and a small number of items figured at the 1999 international exhibition “Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet” and included in the catalogue of the same name). When attributing the previously unpublished items of the sacred art of Tibet, the authors of the catalogue took into account the recent advances of the world scientific community in the study of the history of Tibetan Buddhist art (U. von Schroeder and others).

Keywords: exhibition “Wisdom and Compassion”, A. Grünwedel, S. F. Oldenburg, P. K. Kozlov, E. E. Ukhtomsky, G. N. de Roerich, lama, Teacher, bodhisattva, yidam, mudra pose attribute, bronze sculpture, Northern Buddhist pantheon, Khara-Khoto, sacred art of Tibet, Buddhist iconography.

To cite: Ivanova E., ‘A Review of “Obitel miloserdiya”: Iskusstvo tibetskogo buddizma [“Abode of Mercy”: Tibetan Buddhist Art]. St Petersburg: State Hermitage Press, 2015, 512 pp.’, Antropologicheskij forum, 2017, no. 33, pp. 166–181.

URL: http://anthropologie.kunstkamera.ru/files/pdf/033/ivanova.pdf