Picturing the Life of Buddha

The legends surrounding the life of the historical Buddha, Siddhattha Gotama, have inspired immense artistic output. This talk will focus on the first twenty illustrations from one of the manuscripts in the Thai Buddhist Tales exhibition. These illustrations depict stages of the life of the Buddha. Having first examined what these miniatures depict, two will be selected for comparison with similar illustrations from contemporary manuscripts. Finally, the style, iconography and characteristics of eighteenth-century Thai visual arts will be considered.

Free, no booking required.

Professor Barend Jan Terwiel

Bio: Barend Jan Terwiel retired from the Chair of Thai and Lao Languages and Literature, Hamburg University, Germany. He has written extensively on Thai history, Theravada Buddhism, and the Tai of Assam. His best-known book is Monks and Magic (fourth revised edition,2012, NIAS Press, Copenhagen). His most recent article was “The City of Nibbāna in Thai Picture Books of the Three Worlds”, Contemporary Buddhism, 2019.

The exhibition is supported by The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation

Open today 12:00pm - 5:30pm

Monday to Friday 9:45am - 5:30pm
Wednesday 9:45am - 8:00pm
Saturday 9:45am - 5:30pm
Sunday 12:00pm - 5:30pm

Closed Mondays: Nov - Feb
Closed 1 Jan; Good Friday; 24-26 Dec

Admission is Free
No booking required
Suggested donation €5


Chester Beatty
Dublin Castle
Dublin 2
D02 AD92