Introduction to Buddhist Art


This is a series of three lectures given by the American scholar Mary McConnell, who is publishing the work on her channel on youtube.

The series seems to be part of a very thorough art history, but largely focusing on Western art of one sort or another.

For a few of the videos though she teaches about Buddhist art in India, China and Japan. There is in fact an earlier video in the series which Mary sometimes refers to, but it is not suitable for inclusion here as it is mainly guidelines for the students.

The first of the videos focuses on Mauryan art, including the Asokan Pillars, and the Great Stupa at Sañchi; but also looks at some of the rock carved art at Karle and elsewhere, and reliefs that have been preserved.

The second looks at how the art works changed when they came to China and came under the influence of Toaist art, which was already well-developed. During this lecture we see some of the more famous Chinese works; and the final video takes a brief look first at Japanese art, and then at the art of Thailand.

Mary gives good explanations of significant features of the art works and also of the stories that they are meant to relate, and she has obviously done a lot of homework to produce these videos, which are informative and interesting, and provide in a short compass a good introduction to the subject.


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