Newar Art of the Kathmandu Valley: Style and Aesthetics

- Dina Bangdel

With the recent discovery of the spectacular over life-size sculpture of King Jayavarma (dated 184 CE) and the existing stone sculptures of Mother Goddesses from the 2nd-3rd centuries, we can presume that the Kathmandu Valley was a thriving artistic center during the pre-Licchavi period. Certainly, by the Licchavi period (ca. 4th-9th centuries), Nepali craftsmen had developed distinctive stylistic and aesthetics conventions in both metal and stone sculptures, rivaling their Indian counterparts of the Gupta period. These masters—the Newar arti...


What is Newar Art ?

-Robert Beer
“No other people on earth, Watson, has produced such intricate beauty in as small a space as the Valley of Kathmandu. One trenchant observer has described it best as a kind of coral reef, built up laboriously over the centuries by unrecorded artisans. As a human achievement, it ranks with the creations of Persia and Italy.”

“Good Lord, Holmes, and to think that no one even knows of its existence!” (Ted Riccardi: The Oriental Casebook of Sherlock Holmes. 2003)

This fictional exchange between Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson perhaps best...



-Min Bahadur Shakya
The Origins of Buddhist Art

The earliest Buddhist art may be traced back to the Buddha’s life time, although some art historians suggest that it originated some centuries after the Buddha’s Great Parinirvana in the 6th century B.C.E. We find many exegetical references to strengthen evidences in the Sutra texts, i.e Vinaya and Tantra, including the Manjusrimulakalpa. It appears that the Buddha himself considered painting to be an important subject as he mentioned methods of painting in sutras, such as Buddha Prati...