Museum Folkwang
  • Buddhist Sculpture

  • The trend toward Japonism did not pass by Osthaus and his collecting activities. Whereas East Asian arts and crafts could be found in many contemporary private collections and artists’ studios, Osthaus also managed to compile an extensive collection of Buddhist sculptures. When his collecting activities became known, he received numerous offers from dealers and private owners. Members of East Asian trading companies and expedition corps of the colonial powers had brought back objects to put on the European art market that had not originally been produced for export or for trading. Soldiers sent to quash the Boxer Rebellion in China, for instance, looted the Chinese emperor’s summer palace and brought back objects with them as souvenirs to Germany too.

    Thailand was one of the few Southeast Asian states that managed to resist European colonisation. Traditional Thai architecture and sculpture dates back to the Sukhothai period (1238 – 1350), when Buddhism was declared the state religion. Thai religious art incorporates influences from India, Cambodia and China. The representations of Buddha follow strict rules, for example, that the shoulders should be as round as the head and the arms as supple as an elephant’s trunk. The raised hand is intended to dispel fear. The monks’ sculptures depict Buddha’s students (arhats) discussing the teachings or practicing meditation. Buddha head sculptures such as are found in many European collections are unusual in traditional Buddhist art. The human body is always represented as a whole.
  • Exh_Title_S: Buddhist Sculpture
  • Exh_Id: 1,577
  • Exh_Comment_S (Verantw): Archaeology, Global Art, Applied Arts
  • Exh_SpareNField01_N (Verantw ID): 185
Stehender Buddha
Meditierender Mönch (Arhat)
Sitzender Mönch (Arhat)
Sitzender Buddha auf getrepptem Thron