Prologomena to a Study of a Portable Buddhist Shrine
|Portable shrine with Five
Transcendental Buddhas. Central Asia, 7th century? Carbon Dating: C.E. 400 +/- 45 years.
Sandalwood. 34.5 x 21 cm (12 1/2 x 8
This article provides an art-historical analysis of a sandalwood panel representing the Five
Transcendental Buddhas of the Vajrayana Pantheon of Buddhism.
It has purportedly come out of
Tibet but was probably carved somewhere in the Silk Route in Central Asia. The problem is further
complicated by the fact that C14 tests date the
object as early as the 5th century C.E., but both the
art-historical and textual evidence indicate a later date.