Thursday - 3:00pm - 5:45pm
This course explores the golden age of Japanese Buddhist sculpture from the seventh through thirteenth century. Each week focuses on one famous work in terms of style, iconography, technique, materials, sculptor, patronage, and ritual. Special emphasis will be placed upon the relationship of the sculpture to its temple setting, inclusive of mural décor, other sculptures in the ensemble, the mandorla, dais, and canopy. Similarly, the recent discoveries of conservation science will be debated, as well as the significance of interred objects and an interregional purview. Insofar as possible, meaning will be explored in relation to sculptural process. All readings will be in English. Several sessions will take place at the Harvard Art Museums, and there will be at least one group excursion during the semester.