Embodying Compassion in Buddhist Art

Welcome to the Embodying Compassion in Buddhist Art website. This multimedia digital resource introduces you to Avalokiteshvara, the Buddhist bodhisattva of compassion. Little known in the West, but immensely important in Asia, this figure has inspired some of the most beautiful and spiritually resonant images in world art. Journey through the website to see how Avalokiteshvara took on many different faces, names, and gender identities over time, becoming Guanyin in China, Kannon in Japan, and Chenrezig in Tibet. In every form, the bodhisattva models the possibility that all beings—without exception—can achieve a perfect state of wisdom, open-heartedness, and happiness.

The Embodying Compassion website includes reproductions of thirty outstanding depictions of Avalokiteshvara, as well as dozens of comparative images, a rich array of interpretative texts, and many other features. We invite you to explore these works, which are organized into three thematic categories—Image, Pilgrimage, and Practice. Use the theme portals on the left to begin your journey and discover why Avalokiteshvara is one of the most revered figures in Buddhism.

This website complements the special exhibition Embodying Compassion in Buddhist Art at The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, from April 23 to June 28, 2015. Additional content and information about the exhibition are available at http://fllac.vassar.edu/