Devotional Art

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One of the most consistently rewarding elements of art is that the more you learn, the more you appreciate what you're seeing. Facets of Three Jewels: Tibetan Buddhist Art, the new exhibition at the Saint Louis Art Museum (314-721-0072 or, is an object lesson in art appreciation. The pieces in the show include 18th-century banner paintings from a set of illustrations from the Buddha's previous lives, a 15th-century textile image and bronze deity sculptures. Each of the works is both a piece of art and an object meant to impart religious instruction. The three jewels of the show's title refer to the Buddha, his teachings and his followers. So while you may appreciate a particular painting for the artist's use of color or his compositional skill, a Buddhist will recognize a spiritual or philosophical lesson. Facets of Three Jewels is on display Tuesday through Sunday (July 4 through February 22), and admission is free.

Image Credit: Usnisavijaya, 18th century; Tibeto-Chinese; Qing dynasty; Qianlong period; gilded, leaded brass with inlays of coral and malachite or turquoise. Saint Louis Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Frances B. Dawson in memory of Mrs. Rosalind Day 147:1943
Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Tuesdays-Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Tuesdays-Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Starts: July 4. Continues through Feb. 22, 2014
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