Buddha Preaching in Deer Park
Copy of an 11th-century CE fresco from Tsaparang Monastery, Tibet
A copy of a mural painting from Tsaparang Monastery (Red Temple), Tibet, this gouache painting depicts Buddha giving his first sermon after achieving enlightenment, at Deer Park, Sarnath, India. During this sermon — also known as the dharmachakrapravartana (setting of the wheel of dharma in motion) — Buddha created the Buddhist sangha, one of the tri-ratnas. It was during this sermon that he conveyed to his followers, the four noble truths and the eightfold path.
The Chinese takeover of Tibet constituted a pivotal moment in Tibet’s history, making its artistic heritage inaccessible to the rest of the world. With several of its sources inaccessible and many of its followers dispersed throughout the world, the daily experience of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism has largely been lost. As a result, the pictures and traces of Tsaparang frescoes by Li Gotami are one of the last prominent pieces of documentation of the Red Temple before the occupation.
Gift of Li Gotami, Lama Govinda, and J.C. Jain
Gouache on paper
Tsaparang Monastery, Western Tibet
77.1 x 130.0 cms