In Tibetan Buddhism, deities are often depicted seated upon a lotus throne as a means to signify their enlightenment and purity. This stone sculpture from 12th century India depicts the major events of the Buddha’s life. At its center, we can see the Buddha seated under a bodhi tree upon a double lotus throne.
In a more contemporary depiction, Shiva Ahmadi’s “Lotus,” the central figure is seated upon a large lotus throne. Ahmadi uses the lotus symbology to elevate the stature of this being in relation to the community of figures surrounding them. The purity of the lotus contrasts with the violent scene that unfolds throughout the animation. You can see this work in the exhibition “Shrine Room Projects” upon the Museum’s reopening.
🏷️ Major Events of the Buddha’s Life; Northeastern India, 12th century; stone with pigments; Rubin Museum of Art; C2005.4.2
🖼️ Shiva Ahmadi (b. 1975, Tehran, Iran); Lotus; 2014; single-channel animation; 8 min. 52 sec.; courtesy of the artist and Haines Gallery, San Francisco | #Lotus #ShivaAhmadi #Animation #ContemporaryArt #ArtOfTheDay #Buddha #LotusThrone #Bodhi
@ Rubin Museum of Art