Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Masterpieces of the East - BBC

Masterpieces of the East - BBC

A new series revealing the stories behind iconic artefacts from the Indian Subcontinent. Only episodes 2 (The Great Stupa Sculptures) and 6 (The Tara Statue) which relate to Buddhism are posted. Thanks to Dan for the links.

The Great Stupa Sculptures

The 2000-year-old sculptures from Amaravati are among the greatest treasures at the British Museum. Depicting Buddhist themes and events in the life of the Buddha, they once embellished the Great Stupa at Amaravati, one of the most important religious sites of ancient India. From golden age, to ruin, to the rediscovery of its relics, this film tells the history of this once breathtaking monument. It explains, too, the iconography and symbolism of some of its finest surviving sculptures and explores and celebrates the artistic traditions and extraordinary craftsmanship that lie behind them.

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The Tara Statue

Almost life size and made of solid gilded bronze, the statue of the goddess Tara in the British Museum collection is one of the finest examples of South Asian art. She is a figure of exceptional beauty and undeniably sensuous, but her form is also sacred and her aura spiritual. Created as an object of worship, to inspire devotees of Buddhism, she was made some 1200 years ago in Sri Lanka. Her eyes and elaborately arranged hair were doubtless once inlaid with previous stones. This film drawstogether her story, examining her origins and how such a masterpiece was crafted, her original divine function, her discovery and her identity today as a cultural icon in a world museum.

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2 comments:

  1. The whole series is available on thebox.bz (registration required [if the site stays up long enough to register & download the .torrent file])
    http://thebox.bz/details.php?id=60884

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