Early Buddhist Manuscript Painting: The Palm-Leaf Tradition


These illuminated religious texts, painted roughly a millennium ago in rich pigments on palm leaves, dazzle with their tiny depictions of Indian deities. Since books were an extreme rarity at the time, some became sacred objects in their own right, and robust blocks of fluidly painted text certainly lend these ancient folios an air of dense wisdom. The thickets of black script contrast beautifully with the greens, reds, and yellows of the gods and goddesses, disciples, and devotees, all painted with such jewel-like detail that you’d do well to bring along a magnifying glass.

Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. Starts: Aug. 27. Continues through March 22, 2008