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Perspectives Religion and Spirituality

Exhibition Tour—Tree & Serpent: Early Buddhist Art in India, 200 BCE–400 CE

Aug 3, 2023 20 MINUTES
Join John Guy, Florence and Herbert Irving Curator of the Arts of South and Southeast Asia in The Met’s Department of Asian Art, and Donald S. Lopez, Arthur E. Link Distinguished University Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies, University of Michigan, for a virtual tour of Tree & Serpent: Early Buddhist Art in India, 200 BCE–400 CE.

Featuring more than 140 objects dating from 200 BCE to 400 CE, the exhibition presents a series of evocative and interlocking themes to reveal both the pre-Buddhist origins of figurative sculpture in India and the early narrative traditions that were central to this formative moment in early Indian art. With major loans from a dozen lenders across India, as well as from the United Kingdom, Europe, and the United States, it transports visitors into the world of early Buddhist imagery that gave expression to this new religion as it grew from a core set of ethical teachings into one of the world’s great religions. Objects associated with Indo-Roman exchange reveal India’s place in early global trade.

The exhibition showcases objects in various media, including limestone sculptures, gold, silver, bronze, rock crystal, and ivory. Highlights include spectacular sculptures from southern India—newly discovered and never before publicly exhibited masterpieces—that add to the world canon of early Buddhist art.

On view: July 21st–November 13th, 2023

Learn more about the exhibition:

The exhibition is made possible by Reliance Industries Limited, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Global, and the Fred Eychaner Fund.

Major support is provided by the Estate of Brooke Astor, the Florence and Herbert Irving Fund for Asian Art Exhibitions, and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.

The international symposium Early Buddhist Art in India and its Global Reach, September 29–30, is made possible by the Fred Eychaner Fund.

The catalogue is made possible by the Florence and Herbert Irving Fund for Asian Art Publications.

Additional support is provided by Albion Art Co., Ltd.

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