Saturday, November 14, 2009

Magnificent Mandalas

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Tucked away in the northwest galleries on the second floor, Japanese Mandalas: Emanations and Avatars seems simultaneously underemphasized yet perfectly constructed for its subject matter.

Though I have a deep appreciation for all of the treasures housed by the Met, my personal taste generally steers me toward more modern, vibrant, expressive pieces. However, I was moved today by the peace of the Japanese galleries and the most extraordinary pieces I have ever seen hanging in them.

Mandalas are not only beautiful, meticulously painted works of art, but also meditative tools. Looking at the incredible detail of each mandala, it was easy even for me to relax and begin to consider every little shape and line.

I can only imagine what it would be like to be spiritually invested. The highlights of this exhibition are the Mandalas of Both Worlds: Womb World and Diamond World, of which several examples are displayed.

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