before the advent of the internet an exciting new era in art
and sculpture unfolded across Asia. The new era began with
the birth of the Great Buddha and continues throughout the
Some of the earliest paintings and sculptures of the Buddha
have been discovered in Ajanta, a remote region of India.
There along the banks of the river Waghora archeologists have
discovered many ancient Buddhist shrines hewn out of solid
rock. In those rock-cut shrines a large number of massive
stone sculptures and intricate wall paintings have been revealed.
These early icons of the Buddha at Ajanta give us our earliest
glimpse into what he may actually have looked like. Indeed
the icons at Ajanta, wherein he is seen delivering his teachings,
sitting in meditation, standing, and sometimes reclining in
a peaceful sleep have set the standards for the depiction
of the Great Buddha by artists throughout Asia, from India
and Tibet to China and Japan.
As the culture of Buddhism spread throughout Asia for centuries,
the artists of each country to which it spread immortalized
the figure of the Great Buddha through sculpture and painting.
The Buddhist doctrine of ahimsa (non-violence) for which he
is so benevolently known, has been portrayed by artists and
sculptors alike through the serene and tranquil look that
eternally adorns the Great Buddha's face.
In time the form of buddha in art and sculpture has spread
throughout the world to such an extent that his figure has
become synonymous with our feelings of peace, grace, compassion,
self-awareness, beauty, serenity, distinction, and elegance.
Contemporary interest in the teachings of the Great Buddha
and the art and sculpture that surrounds his figure is rapidly
growing throughout America and Europe. Indeed, there is a
growing demand for art and sculpture depicting the Great Buddha
in his classic splendor and beauty that is presently emerging
and inundating the world. Today, Asia's finest artists
and craftsmen are meeting that demand by producing exacting
images of the Great Buddha, as did their ancestors and their
ancestors before them, in water color, stone, sandalwood,
bronze, jade, lapis, gold, silver, and other exotic materials.
Our curators are constantly searching throughout Asia for
the finest Buddhist art available. What was once confined
to the rock-cut shrines of Ajanta or the monasteries in Tibet
or the Rinzai Zen Monastery of Daitokuji in Japan is now available
through Silk Elephant to hallow your home.
As the anonymous monk once said, "Let not the face of
the Great Bud-dha fade beyond our sight. Were it not for the
peace that he has shown in us all, then the value of life
in this world would be but that of a palm of sand."