Bodily transfer and sacrificial gestures: rethinking the Hungry Tigress Jataka in Mogao Cave 254

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Publication Type thesis
School or College College of Fine Arts
Department Art/Art History
Author Martin, Eliza Abigail
Title Bodily transfer and sacrificial gestures: rethinking the Hungry Tigress Jataka in Mogao Cave 254
Date 2014-08
Description The Caves of Mogao, located just outside of the city of Dunhuang, have received much scholarly attention because they have preserved one thousand years of medieval Chinese visual culture from the fourth to fourteenth centuries. Right on the Silk Road, the Mogao site comprises nearly five hundred caves containing different varieties of Buddhist art. In particular, a number of scholars have focused their attention on Cave 254, dated around 475-490 CE. On the south wall of the cave there is a mural of the "Hungry Tigress" jataka, an Indian tale of one of the Buddha's previous lives before his enlightenment and entry into nirvana as the historical Buddha Shakyamuni sometime in the fifth-century BCE. The popularity of these narratives have prompted scholars such as Stanley Abe, Julia Murray, and Hsio-Yen Shih to offer visual analyses and perspectives on the "Hungry Tigress" jataka mural in terms of its purpose and function within Cave 254. The findings of previous scholars provide a launching pad for my own ideas and for what I will argue is an understudied aspect of the mural and the cave. As a result of personal experience with Cave 254, Michael Baxandall's theory of the "Period Eye" has emerged as a useful theoretical framework to interpret the mural, cave, and site in more detail. That is, we can try to reconstruct the viewing practices of the past through a close visual and contextual analysis of 1) gesture, 2) architecture, and 3) religious context.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Buddhist art; Chinese art; Jataka; karma; Sinicization; Stupa
Dissertation Name Master of Arts
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Abigail Eliza Martin 2014
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 1,060,629 bytes
Identifier etd3/id/3157
ARK ark:/87278/s61v8p50
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2014-10-29
Date Modified 2017-11-02
ID 196723
Reference URL
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