Neefer Sews, Crochets, Crafts, Swims, and Blathers about Kids

Acorns to Oaktrees

June 10th, 2013 at 10:20 pm

Asian Art Museum

in: General

A few pix of pieces that I found interesting, inspirational, attractive and that I managed to take an acceptable picture of.

One of 3 female figures
One of 3 female figures
approx. 100 BCE – 100 CE
Norther or Easter India
Symbols of fertility
centaur-sea serpents
Architectural element with centaur-sea serpents
approx. 1-200
Pakistan – ancient region of Gandhara Schist

I liked the female figure at left. They don’t have much information about what the images stood for, how they were used, etc.

I was really surprised to see the merman to the right. He looks very Greek to me. They attribute Greek influence by way of Alexander.

Window Frame
Window frame, approx 1650-1750
Northern India or Pakistan
Sandstone, iron, and wood
Several stone blocks make up this
window frame, which is equipped with
wooden shutters and an overhanging
eave for the runoff of rainwater. The
vegetal forms of the half-columns, in
addition to the floral and decorative
motifs on the shutters and the frame,
are typical of architecture created
under the Mughal dynasty (1526-1858).
Cat with kitten & butterfly
Cat with kitten & butterfly
approx. 1850-1949
Qing dynasty (1644-1911) or Republican era (1921-1949)
Cats & butterflies are among the many symbols of longevity.
The cat (mao) sounds like the word for 70, while the
butterfly (die) shares a sound with the word for 80. They
form a visual pun for maodie (longevity).

Somehow, I found the little statue of the cats pulling the butterfly apart … well, I thought it was cute. You know, like, … aw the mama is playing with the baby. But then I thought about it. I do like the idea of the visual pun.

Isn’t that window frame fabulous!

Female Shinto Spirit

Female Shinto Spirit
circa 1100-1200
Late Heian (794-1185) or early Kamakura (1185-1333)
Wood with traces of pigment

This figure represents a Shinto goddess; her name is
not known. She is depicted as an aristocratic woman,
dressed in a thick kimono-like garment. Shinto images
like this one were not meant to be seen but were kept
hidden in movable cabinets in a special part of shrines,
where they were privately worshiped.

The core of Shinto is nature worship. Since ancient
times, the Japanese worshipped spirits (kami) who
were believed to exist abundantly in such forms of the
natural world as mountains, rocks, waterfalls, and trees.
As such, they were not depicted in human form, male or
female. It was only in the 9th century, under the strong
influence of Buddhist image-making, kami began to be
depicted in human form.

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