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Courtyard of monastery with temple and small shrines

Courtyard of monastery with temple and small shrines

Artist: Oldfield, Henry Ambrose (1822-1871)

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1856

Shelfmark: WD3285

Item number: 3285

Length: 25

Width: 36

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Watercolour of the courtyard of monastery, with temple and small shrines, at Kathmandu in Nepal, by Henry Ambrose Oldfield (1822-1871), c. 1850-1863.

Dr Oldfield, who was Residency Surgeon at Kathmandu from 1850-1863, wrote in 'Sketches from Nipal, Historical and Descriptive...' (1880), "All these vihars possess the same general architectural characters. They are double-storied and usually built in the form of a quadrangle. In the centre of this quadrangle there is always one chaitya [prayer-hall], and in some vihars there are several. On the north side of this central chaitya, opposite the shrine of Amoghasiddha, is a small tank or basin...There is also always a shrine containing a figure of Sakya Singha in the quadrangle, and a pair of reliefs of Ganesha and Mahenkal at the entrance of every vihar...Although surrounding Buddhist shrines and containing within their limits many sacred objects of Buddhist worship...at the present day they are merely secular establishments or corporations...institutions merely for the encouragement of trade, and not for the support of religion."

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