Medicine Buddha Bhaishajyaguru – Meaningful Materials (82)

Tibetan Painted Banner of the Medicine Buddha
Tibetan Painted Banner (Thangka) with the Medicine Buddha (Bhaishajyaguru), 14th century, Art Institute of Chicago

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

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