Wikipedia:Today's featured article/March 6, 2005

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Buddhist art, defined as the figurative arts and decorative arts linked to the Buddhist religion, originated in the Indian subcontinent in the centuries following the life of the historical Gautama Buddha in the 6th to 5th century BCE, before evolving through its contact with other cultures and its diffusion through the rest of Asia and the world. A first, essentially Indian, aniconic phase (avoiding direct representations of the Buddha), was followed from around the 1st century CE by an iconic phase (with direct representations of the Buddha). From that time, Buddhist art diversified and evolved as it adapted to the new countries where the faith was expanding. It developed to the north through Central Asia and into Eastern Asia to form the Northern branch of Buddhist art, and to the east as far as South-East Asia to form the Southern Branch of Buddhist art. In India, the land of its birth, Buddhist art flourished and even influenced the development of Hindu art, until Buddhism almost disappeared around the 10th century with the expansion of Hinduism and Islam. (more...)

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