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Article

Kirk Ambrose

(b Moscow, May 7, 1903; d Paris, Jan 25, 1988).

Lithuanian art historian, scholar of folklore and Egyptology, and diplomat of Russian birth. Son of the celebrated Lithuanian Symbolist poet of the same name, Jurgis Baltrušaitis II studied under Henri(-Joseph) Focillon at the Sorbonne and earned the PhD in 1931. The concerns of his mentor are evident in La stylistique ornementale dans la sculpture romane (1931), which reprises and extends arguments for the ‘law of the frame’ in Romanesque sculpture. Accordingly, the shapes of architectural members, such as capitals and tympana, determined the articulation of sculptural forms. This theory could account for the genesis of a wide array of monumental carvings, from foliate capitals to narrative reliefs, but ultimately it had a rather limited impact on the field of Romanesque sculptural studies. In a scathing critique, Schapiro argued that Baltrušaitis’s book—and by implication Focillon’s methods—robbed Romanesque sculptors of agency and neglected the religious and expressive meanings of this art form....

Article

Eleanor Heartney

(b Bangkok, Feb 25, 1953; d Bangkok, Aug 25, 2000).

Thai sculptor and installation artist. Boonma studied at the Poh Chang Arts and Crafts School, Bangkok (1971–3) and went on to study painting at Silpakorn University, Bangkok (1974–8). He became a Buddhist monk in 1986 and his work explores a distinctively Buddhist art language. His early work dealt with environmental issues that came out of his concerns about the effects of industrialization on rural Thailand. Increasingly his work became involved with issues of illness and death as his own health faltered. He subtly melded natural forms, Buddhist architecture and ritual objects with a minimalist sense of structure inspired by his study of Western art. He fashioned sculptural objects based on Buddhist alms bowls, ‘painted’ with healing herbs and created walls and enclosures from stacks of hundreds of ceramic temple bells.

From 1991 Boonma’s wife struggled with breast cancer, until she succumbed in 1994. During this period the pair turned to both Western and Eastern tools to battle her disease, alternating chemotherapy with visits to shrines and offerings to propitious spirits. In ...

Article

Donald F. McCallum

[Kuratsukuri no Tori; Shiba Kuratsukuribe no Obito Tori]

(fl early 7th century).

Japanese sculptor. He is associated with the inception of Buddhist image production in Japan and is generally considered to be the first great master of Japanese Buddhist sculpture (see also Japan §V 3., (i)). Tori Busshi is believed to have worked on the most important monumental sculpture of the Asuka period (c. 552–710), the bronze Great Buddha (Jap. Daibutsu) enshrined in the Asukadera (Japan’s first fully fledged temple complex, on the Yamato Plain c. 25 km from Nara). In addition, his name is inscribed on the mandorla of the gilt-bronze Shaka Triad of the Golden Hall (Kondō) at Hōryūji in Nara (623). He may, however, have operated primarily as a supervisor rather than a craftsman. Scholars usually associate most Asuka period images with his studio, which produced work modelled on the stone sculpture of Chinese Buddhist cave temples of the Northern Wei period (386–535). This is termed ...

Article

En  

Samuel C. Morse

School of Japanese sculpture that flourished during the 12th century. It was founded by and named after Ensei (d 1134) and was one of the two major schools of Japanese Buddhist sculpture of the later Heian period (794–1185), the other being the In school (see also Japan, §V, 3, (iii), (c)). Ensei was a pupil of Chōsei (d 1091), the chief disciple of Jōchō, who had developed a refined, elegant style that satisfied both the secular and spiritual pretensions of the 11th-century aristocracy. Sculptors of both the En and In schools were patronized by the most influential figures of the capital of Heian (now Kyoto), at whose behest they rejected innovation in favour of close replication of the formal qualities of Jōchō’s imagery. They worked mainly in wood. Ensei’s only surviving work is a seated Healing Buddha (Jap. Yakushi, Skt Bhaishajyaguru; 1103...

Article

Enkai  

Japanese, 11th century, male.

Active during the first half of the 11th century.

Sculptor.

Enkai was a Buddhist monk from Mount Shigi near Nara. He was one of the first ­sculptors to use the yosegi (joined-wood) style of carving, whereby monumental sculp­- tures were made from several different blocks of wood that had been carved separately and then put together. Until that time, these large wooden figures had been carved using the ichiboku technique, meaning out of a single block of wood. Enkai’s famous seated statue of ...

Article

Enku  

Japanese, 17th century, male.

Born c. 1628, in Gifu Prefecture; died 1695, in Miroku-ji temple, Gifu Prefecture.

Monk-sculptor.

Little is known about the birthplace and life of Enku, a Tendai Buddhist monk, except that he travelled the country widely, sculpting on popular demand, and that his works are in fact a form of devotion. The immense amount of work he produced (he vowed to produce 120,000 pieces) stands apart from traditional Buddhist sculpture of the time. His prolific output was fired by a deep faith; he worked with great speed using a billhook and knife, taking into account the veins in the wood in order to respect its true nature. His works exude an undeniable serenity. They are to be found in numerous temples, most particularly in the regions of Mino and Hida (Gifu province) where he often stayed, but also on the northern island of Hokkaido, where he was to be found between ...

Article

Enkū  

Donald F. McCallum

(b Mino Province [now Gifu Prefecture], 1632; d 1695).

Japanese sculptor and Buddhist itinerant monk (hijiri). He was active during the early Edo period (1600–1868). He entered the priesthood of the Tendai sect (see Buddhism §III 10.) at an early age, this being one of the few means of advancement within feudal society for individuals of the lower classes. Enkū began sculpting images in the early 1660s for both Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines in his home province. In the later 1660s he made an important missionary expedition to the Tōhoku region of Honshu and to the northern island of Hokkaido, which had only recently come under the control of the Tokugawa shogunate, introducing Buddhism and Buddhist imagery to that still remote island. Thereafter he travelled extensively, carving icons for rural temples and wayside shrines in Honshu, especially in the Kantō and Chūbu regions. He also carved images on living trees on mountain-tops. For more than 300 years his works were little known outside their localities; to local people they were objects of worship, imbued with magical powers to heal and protect....

Article

Genkei  

Japanese, 17th – 18th century, male.

Born 1648, in Kyoto; died 1710.

Sculptor, monk.

After having been a sculptor of Buddhist statues in Kyoto, Genkei became a monk in 1669, at the age of 21, and a disciple of Tetsugen Zenji. He then went on a long preaching tour of Japan during which he conceived the vast project of carving statues of the Rakan (the Arhats, or disciples of the Buddha). He went to Edo (now Tokyo) to seek the assistance of Tetsugyu Osho, a priest of the Gufuku-ji at Ushima, through whose good offices he was permitted to stay at the monastery attached to the Senso-ji (Asakusa-dera) at Edo. There, at the beginning of the Genroku period (...

Article

(Mark David)

(b London, Aug 30, 1950).

English sculptor and draughtsman. He studied archaeology, anthropology and art history at Trinity College, Cambridge (1968–71) and Buddhist meditation in India and Sri Lanka (1971–4), experiences that profoundly inform his work. Influenced by the ideals of Indian sculpture as much as by those of modernism, his sculptures use the human form to explore man’s existence in and relation to the world. He is primarily known for the lead figures cast from his own body. Free of individualizing surface detail, with welding lines emphatically exposed, these remain physical casings rather than imitative representations of the universal human form. His belief that the spiritual and physical selves are inseparable is reflected in works such as Land, Sea and Air II (1982). Three figures, crouching, kneeling and standing, were placed on the seashore, embodying the process of Buddhist spiritual awareness. The work also referred to the earthly condition of the body and man’s relationship with his surroundings. These concerns are further reflected in Gormley’s full use of installation space, with sculptures suspended from ceiling and walls. Many works were made specifically for natural environments, most controversially ...

Article

In  

Samuel C. Morse

Major school of Japanese Buddhist sculpture of the late Heian (ad 794–1185) and early Kamakura (1185–1333) periods (see Japan, §V, 3, (iii)). The school took its name from Injō (d 1108), who was the chief disciple of Kakujō (d 1077), son of Jōchō, who had developed a gentle, elegant style of wood sculpture suited to the refined tastes of the mid-Heian aristocracy of the capital (modern Kyoto). Art historians generally consider Kakujō to have been the first-generation master of the school, which specialized in producing for their patrons close formal replicas of Jōchō’s imagery. There were two workshops (bussho) of the In school in Kyoto: the Shichijō–Ōmiya workshop, established by Injō, and the Rokujō–Madenokōji workshop, set up in the mid-12th century. Initially in competition with the other main exponent of Jōchō’s style, the En school, the In was pre-eminent in the second half of the 12th century. After this, the work of the school became increasingly mannered and began to decline in popularity. In the early Kamakura period it was eclipsed by the dynamic realism of the ...

Article

Injo  

Japanese, 11th century, male.

Died 1108.

Sculptor.

Injo, a Buddhist sculptor, is said to be the son of Kakujo or Chosei and the grandson of Jocho, a great sculptor who died in 1057. He was therefore part of an important line of artists who formed one of the two main currents of Buddhist art at the beginning of the Heian period. He is considered the founder of the Shichijo Omiya studio in Kyoto, where he continued to work, with his numerous assistants, in the style of Jocho. It was probably for this reason that he received the honorary title of ...

Article

Injo  

Japanese, 13th century, male.

Active at the end of the 13th century.

Sculptor.

Injo was a Buddhist sculptor who received the title of Hoin (an ecclesiastical title conferred on sculptors). In 1295, he executed the Jizo Bosatsu (Sanskrit: Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha) of the Umegahata cemetery in Kyoto....

Article

Inkaku  

Japanese, 12th century, male.

Active during the first half of the 12th century.

Sculptor.

Inkaku, a Buddhist artist in the line of Jocho who died in 1057, worked in the Shichijo Omiya studio, founded in Kyoto by Injo, who died in 1108. He is said to be the sculptor of the statue of the Amida Buddha (Sanskrit: Amithaba Buddha) in the Hokongo-in monastery in Kyoto, dated ...

Article

Inken  

Japanese, 13th century, male.

Active at the beginning of the 13th century.

Sculptor.

Inken, the son of Incho, was a Buddhist sculptor at the beginning of the Kamakura period. He was a member of the In School, founded by the sculptor Inson in Kyoto. In the twelfth month of ...

Article

Inno  

Japanese, 13th century, male.

Active during the second half of the 13th century.

Sculptor.

Inno was a Buddhist sculptor and holder of the title of Hokkyo (‘bridge of the law’, an ecclesiastical title conferred on sculptors). On the first day of the eleventh month of ...

Article

Inshin  

Japanese, 13th century, male.

Active at the end of the 13th century.

Sculptor.

Inshin was considered a Buddhist master sculptor ( dai busshi). From the twelfth month of 1251, he took part in the preparations for the assembling of the Buddhist statues in the Kofuku-ji temple in Nara. In ...

Article

Inshu  

Japanese, 13th century, male.

Active at the end of the 13th century.

Sculptor.

Inshu was considered a Buddhist master sculptor ( dai busshi). He bore the honorary title of Ho-in (‘seal of the law’, the highest of the Buddhist ecclesiastical titles conferred on an artist). He took part in the restoration of the statues in the reading room of the Kofuku-ji temple in Nara. In ...

Article

Inson  

Japanese, 12th century, male.

Born 1120; died 1198.

Sculptor.

Inson was the son or disciple of Inkaky, and is the principal representative of one of the two main currents of Buddhist sculpture at the end of the Heian (or Fujiwara) period and at the beginning of the Kamakura period. He was the founder of the In, or In-pa School, known as Shichijo Omiya Bussho. He spent his life as an artist, being particularly active between ...

Article

Kaikei  

Hiromichi Soejima

[An Amida Butsu]

(fl Nara area, 1183–1223).

Japanese sculptor. He is associated with the Kei school of Buddhist sculpture and is thought to have been a disciple of Kōkei. The first reference to Kaikei occurs in the Lotus Sutra (Jap. Hokkekyō or Myōhō renge kyō; 1183; Ueno priv. col.), transcribed by Unkei and others, in which he is recorded receiving a kechien (establishing a tie with Buddha, in order to be entitled to his benefits). It is believed that he sculpted the Miroku (Skt Maitreya) for the temple of Kōfukuji in Nara (see Nara, §III, 7) in 1189 (Boston, MA, Mus. F.A.). In 1192 he made a wooden image of the Miroku for Daigoji in Kyoto (in situ; see Kyoto, §IV, 3, (i)). From then on, until he was received into the official priesthood (sōgō), he usually went by his artist’s name (), An Amida Butsu.

In 1194 he carved the wooden ...

Article

Samuel C. Morse

(b c. ad 700; d 774).

Japanese sculptor. He worked in the Buddhist tradition of the Nara period (ad 710–94; see also Japan §V 3., (ii)). Like many artists of that time, Kimimaro was of foreign descent, his grandfather having immigrated from the Korean kingdom of Paekche in the 660s. His original family name was Kuni, but when he was rewarded in 749 with the honorary rank of muraji (a hereditary title granted to government officials), it was changed to Kuninaka after the village where the family resided. Kimimaro directed work on the monumental bronze Great Buddha (Daibutsu) at Tōdaiji (see Nara §III 4.), which became the symbol of Buddhism as state religion. Since his name first appears in a record dated 745 (Tenpyō 17), he may also have worked on the predecessor to the Great Buddha, which was begun in 743 at Kogadera near the Shigaraki Palace to the north of Nara (anc. Heijō). Emperor Shōmu moved the project back to Nara in 745 and appointed Kimimaro chief sculptor in 747. At the same time, Kimimaro is recorded as having requisitioned materials for the mandorla for the statue of ...