Buddhism was conceived by Siddhartha Gautama around 2500 years ago and is one of the largest religions in the modern world. It is centered around the idea of spirituality, meditation, and suffering. To elaborate on this, according to Buddhist interpretation, life is a phase of suffering that is to be eased through meditation and physical labor. This coupled with good behavior can help individuals to achieve an enlightened state also known as nirvana. The concept comes from the suffering of the poor people in this world. Siddhartha Gautama, who was also an Indian prince in the fifth century, realized that human life is no less than suffering after seeing the plight of the poor under his rule. Therefore, he rejected his ascribed status of a prince and all his material possessions to live a life of a beggar. He meditated and tried to achieve the aforementioned state of nirvana however remained unsatisfied. It was only then that he realized that there had to be a “Middle Way”.
He settled on the idea that neither of the two extremes was good in order to achieve satisfaction in this world. If you want to relive yourself from the suffering of this world, it has to be through a middle life with constant meditation. With enough practice, one would achieve enlightenment just as the Budha did under the Bodhi tree. The place of his enlightenment is now converted into a temple and is a popular pilgrimage site.
Buddha Canvas replicates the same ideology. It is based on the four noble truths preached by Buddhism, suffering, origins of suffering, cessation of suffering, and path to the cessation of suffering. Buddha canvases also depict the ongoing journey of the spirits. It is believed that there is a wheel of rebirth and souls take different bodies depending on the conduct they had in previous lives.
Buddha Canvas and art also depict Buddhas and bodhisattvas. It encompasses historical details of the religion and also elaborated on mythical narratives. Buddhism started in India, however, has now spread all over the world. Some countries where Buddhism is a majority religion include Korea, Japan, Sri Linka, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and the other Central Asian States. Therefore, art also faces a cultural shift in all these areas. However, an interesting thing about Buddha canvases is that they follow the same general thematic in all of these regions. India is home to Buddhist art and has some of the finest Buddhist paintings that date back to the earliest phases of Buddhism. The country has seen multiple phases of Buddha art development however as of now, the country is experiencing a declining trend in the creation as well as preservation of Buddha art. On the contrary, Buddha canvas and Buddhist art is a major phenomenon that is celebrated and cherished globally by both the Budh and the non-Budh communities. Buddhist themes are also to be seen in some of the popular artists of the contemporary world such as Bill Viola, John Connell, and Allan Graham.