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Temple & Vihar of Maha-Buddha (Satya Singha) in Katmandoo. August 1857

Temple & Vihar of Maha-Buddha (Satya Singha) in Katmandoo. August 1857

Artist: Oldfield, Henry Ambrose (1822-1871)

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1857

Shelfmark: WD3282

Item number: 3282

Length: 41

Width: 31

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Watercolour by of the Mahabodha temple and monastery at Kathmandu in Nepal, by Henry Ambrose Oldfield (1822-1871), dated August 1857. The image is inscribed on the reverse: 'Temple & Vihar of Maha-Buddha (Satya Singha) in Katmandoo. August 1857'.

Sakya Singha; the 'Sakya Lion' of the Newar people of the Kathmandu Valley is an epithet for Gautama Buddha, who was from the Sakya clan. The artist, Dr Oldfield, was Residency Surgeon at Kathmandu from 1850-1863, and wrote in 'Sketches from Nipal, Historical and Descriptive...' (1880), "This temple is of an unusual form, having no mound nor spire of segments. It is of a conical form, with little minarets at the four corners of the lower portion of the building. It is about seventy-five feet high. It stands in the centre of a small court, which is so narrow and confined that there is only a pathway between the houses composing the court and the sides of the temples. It is consequently impossible to get a distinct view of the upper part of the building...It is, perhaps, the most elaborately carved of any temple in the Valley, and is probably also in the best state of preservation...The whole outside of the temple from top to bottom is most elaborately carved with small figures of Buddha; these reliefs extend deep into the brick, through the composition, and are nearly as hard and as durable as stone. There are said to be in all, outside and inside, nine thousand different carvings or designs of Buddha in this one temple."

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