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TRACKING TIBETAN ART

“Eighty to ninety percent of Tibetan art was destroyed or displaced during the Cultural Revolution”, the art historian David Jackson recently said. Mr. Jackson has spent many years not only identifying Tibetan artists, their patrons and subject matter but also  comparing thousands of portraits looking for patterns in hand gestures, robe colors, jewelry, furniture. He published it all in his book, Mirror of the Buddha: Early Portraits of Tibet.

To coincide with this book is an exhibition at the Rubin Museum of Art  http://www.rmanyc.org/  in New York, Mirror of the Buddha: Early Portraits of Tibet., open through March 5, 2012.

The exhibit presents examples of early portraits, often of founding masters of important Buddhist schools portrayed as holy personages. These paintings are mainly rendered in the eastern India-inspired Sharri  style. And this style was most faithfully followed by Tibetan artists although it spread to many parts of Asia.
 
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