Restoration of the Great Stupa at Svayambhunatha

Restoration of the Great Stupa at Svayambhunatha

This complex and historically important painting commemorates the renovation and re-consecration of the Great Stupa, or Buddhist reliquary mound, at Svayambhunatha. One of the Kathmandu Valley’s most prominent landmarks, this whitewashed, dome-shaped monument dominates the upper half of the composition. Both the painting and the inscription at its lower edge describe the restoration and consecration of the stupa’s elaborate finial in 1565 by donors from a Buddhist monastery in the nearby town of Patan. In addition to documenting this repair and the ritual performances that accompanied it, the painting also provides a schematic map of the Kathmandu Valley’s topographic and sacred landscape. Though it disregards conventional rules of perspective, this remarkable plan shows the valley’s principal towns, temples, shrines, roads, and rivers, orienting these features to the Great Stupa, the conceptual and ritual center of Nepalese Buddhism.

Details

  • Title : Restoration of the Great Stupa at Svayambhunatha
  • Year : 1565
  • Classification : Paintings
  • Medium : Opaque watercolour on cloth
  • Dimension : Unframed: 39 3/4 × 33 1/2 in. (100.97 × 85.09 cm) Framed: 54 1/4 × 41 1/2 in. (137.8 × 105.41 cm)
  • Accession No : Object Number: 2000.15
  • Country/ Geo-location : NEPAL
  • Museum : Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
  • Credit Line : Robert A. and Ruth W. Fisher Fund
  • Status : NOT ON VIEW
  • Published References : Adriana Proser, ed., Pilgrimage and Buddhist Art ex. cat. (New York: Asia Society Museum in asso. with Yale University Press, New Haven, 2010) p. 132, cat. 63, color ill. p. 133. Dina Bangdel, Virginia Raguin, Frank Peters, Pilgrimage and Faith: Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam (Chicago: Serindia Publications, 2009) fig 4, p. 66 Mary Shepherd Slusser, "Conservation Notes on Some Nepalese Paintings," www.asianart.com, July 2003, color ills. John C. Huntington and Dina Bangdel, The Circle of Bliss Buddhist Meditational Art exhibition catalogue (Columbus, OH: Columbus Museum of Art in asso. with Serindia Publications, Chicago, 2002) pp. 112-114, color det. fig. 2, p. 112, color ill. p. 115. Theodore Riccardi, "Some Preliminary remarks on a Newari Painting of Svayambhunath, "Journal of the American Oriental Society 93 (1973), 335-340. Pratapaditya Pal , Nepal: Where the Gods are Young (New York: The Asia Siciety, 1975)pp. 69, 84 Pratapaditya Pal , The Arts of Nepal, part 2. Paiting (London: E.J. Brill, 1978), pp. 81, 132, pl. 108. Mary S. Slusser, Nepal Mandala: A Cultural History of the Kathmandu Vallery. Vol. 2 (Princeton: Princeton Press,1982), pls. 80,87, 495. Mary S. Slusser, "On a sixteenth-century Pictorial Pilgrims Guide from nepal. "Archives of Asian Art 33 (1985), pp. 6-36