How do artists’ choices of materials assign identity and meaning to works of art? How does meaning assign material? In this excerpt from one of my museum tours, I explore the meaningful material of the semi-precious blue stone lapis lazuli in a Tibetan painted banner (thangka) of the Buddha of medicine and healing, Bhaishajyaguru.
Features Works of Art:
Painted Banner (Thangka) with the Medicine Buddha (Bhaishajyaguru)
Central Tibet, 14th century
Pigment and gold on cotton
104 x 82.7 cm (41 x 32 1/2 in.)
Art Institute of Chicago, 1996.29