Monday, June 29, 2009

New Collections, Outlines, Images & Image Sets

New Collections, Additions & Updates:
Guimet Museum, Paris, France
Painting Set: Sakya Monastery
Sculpture: Masks (Private I)
Collection of RMA: Book Covers
Collection of RMA: Avalokita (Sculpture)
Collection of RMA: Avalokita (Painting)

New Outlines:
Eight Fears Outline
Shambhala Kings Outline
Shambhala Kings: Royal Appearance Outline
Shambhala Kings: Deity Appearance Outline
Kalachakra Outline (Updated)

Avalokiteshvara Updates:
Buddhist Deity: Avalokiteshvara (Eleven Faces, Namka Gyalpo)
Buddhist Deity: Avalokiteshvara: Eleven Faces (Eight Fears)
Buddhist Deity: Avalokiteshvara (Eleven Faces, Lineage)
Buddhist Deity: Avalokiteshvara (Four Tatagatas)
Buddhist Deity: Avalokiteshvara (Eight Hands)
Buddhist Deity: Avalokiteshvara (Drigung Kagyu Tradition)
Buddhist Deity: Avalokiteshvara (Bhikshuni Shri)
Buddhist Deity: Avalokiteshvara (Eye Holding)

Miscellaneous Additions & Updates:
Painting Sets Index
Eight Fears List
Lhasa Greyscaled & Numbered (1)
Lhasa Greyscaled & Numbered (2)
Lhasa Greyscaled & Numbered (3)
Initiation Cards: Rinchen Terdzo (Ka)
Buddhist Protector: Nechung Chogyong
Buddhist Worldly Protector: Vaishravana
Teacher: Panchen Lama Incarnation Set (Textile)
Buddhist Deity: Hevajra (Sculpture)
Teacher: Lodrag Khenchen Lekyi Dorje
Painting Set: Indian Adepts (Ford)
Indian Scholar: Atisha (Life Story Paintings)

Shambhala Kings Additions & Updates:
Kings: Shambhala (Set 3, Palpung Composition)
Kings: Shambhala (Set 4)
Kings: Shambhala (Set 5)
Kings: Shambhala (Set 6)
Kings: Shambhala (Set 7)
Kings: Shambhala (Set 8)
Kings: Shambhala (Set 9)
Kings: Shambhala (Set 10)
Kings: Shambhala (All in one painting)
Kings: Shambhala (Palpung Misc.)
Kings of Shambhala - Names List

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Eight Fears Represented in Art

The eight fears are a common theme represented in Himalayan and Tibetan Buddhist art. The fears are generally associated with Avalokiteshvara, Amoghapasha and Tara. Protection from the fears can be represented by a single deity figure with eight hands, or a central deity accompanied by eight retinue figures each protecting from one of the eight fears. In the case of the Eleven Faced Avalokiteshvara of the Atisha Tradition the attendant deities are all wrathful in appearance.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Shambhala Kings Outline Pages

An outline page has been created in the process of organizing the various sets of paintings that depict the Shambhala Kings. It soon became clear from the amount of art and number of different sets that there needed to be more than one Outline Page to fully contextualize the material. In general there are two different systems for depicting the Seven Kings and Twenty-five Vidyadharas: Royal Appearance and Deity Appearance. The Royal Appearance system is older and found throughout Tibet and the Himalayan regions. The Deity Appearance was popularized in the Kham region of East Tibet by Katog Tsewang Norbu in the 18th century. It is possible that the Deity Appearance system originates from an earlier Jonang textual tradition. Further research is required.

Shambhala Kings Outline Page
Shambhala Kings: Royal Appearance Outline Page
Shambhala Kings: Deity Appearance Outline Page

Google Alert: "Himalayan Art Resources"

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Visual Images of Sets

In the twelve year history of the HAR website there have been four major additions, or changes, to the site that have improved it tremendously; a quantum leap forward in how the site is used. The first (1) was the extensive use of Thematic Sets, the grouping of related thumbnail images into various sets. Currently there are over two thousand Thematic Sets. The second (2) great improvement was the addition of extensive Outline Pages to contextualize the subjects and topics of Himalayan art. Currently there are approximately three hundred Outline Pages. The third (3) great improvement was the addition of the Google Search which has revolutionized navigation on the site and made everything easier to find and faster. The fourth (4) great innovation on the site is the addition of Visual Images of Sets to represent the full and complete composition of an art work, whenever it is known. More than half of all Himalayan and Tibetan art was created in sets of paintings and sculpture.

See examples of sets of paintings both complete and incomplete:
Eight Mahasiddhas Set (Palpung)
Eight Bodhisattvas Set (Palpung)
Eighty-four Mahasiddhas (Jonang)
Eighty-four Mahasiddhas Set
Jataka Painting Set
Panchen Lama Incarnation Set

Guimet Museum Images

Images of paintings and sculpture from the gallery floors of the Guimet Museum in Paris have been added to the HAR site. The images are snap shots and of a poor quality for the most part, but it is better to have a bad image than no image at all. The Guimet has one of the finest collections of Himalayan art in Europe, if not all of the Western world.

Image Server Problems

Over the last month or so we have been having intermittent problems with the HAR image server. This is the software that creates the thumbnail images and allows for zooming and enlarging of those images. We believe that the problems have been identified and fixed for now. New monitoring software has been installed that will keep better track of all aspects of the HAR website. The software will automatically inform us when there are server shut downs and user requests that are not completed. At this time we are also changing and upgrading certain parts of the database architecture so as to improve the functionality of the site. For now most of these changes won't be seen by the users and mostly have to do with how information is accessed by the database. The changes will also allow the HAR team to catalogue large numbers of images more efficiently and most importantly - quickly.

Cityscapes: Additions, Greyscaled & Numbered

Several of the Lhasa cityscape paintings have been converted to greyscale and numbers have been added to the images identifying the important architectural structures, monasteries and temples.

Additional detail images have been added to the monumental Mongolian painting of Lhasa. New images have been added to the Tashi Lhunpo, Shigatse set along with two early 20th century drawings by European travelers or British surveyors.