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The Tibetan Book Of Proportions

An 18th century pattern book shows precise iconometric guidelines for depicting the Buddha and Bodhisattva figures. Written in Newari script with Tibetan numerals, the book was probably issued in Nepal for use in Tibet.


The concept of the ‘ideal image’ of the Buddha emerged during the Golden Age of Gupta rule, from the 4th to 6th century. As well as the proportions, other aspects of the depiction – such as number of teeth, colour of eyes, direction of hairs – became very important.

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