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MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Life of the Buddha

This online gallery introduces the story of the life of the Buddha. The images in this gallery represent scenes from his life journey that transformed him from a prince Siddhartha Gautama to the Buddha, the Enlightened One.

The document "The Life of the Buddha" downloadable from the Related Resources tab complements this online gallery as a guide to each image.

Please also see the online gallery "Footprints of the Buddha" to further explore how the Buddhist tradition spread across Asia, and how it was interpreted differently in the art of each region.

Exploring this gallery, you will discover:

• The key events in the life of Siddhartha Gautama that made him become the Buddha
• The impact of these events to the foundation of Buddhism
• The meaning and use of symbols in Buddhist art

Learning Goals:

• Understand the life of the man whose teachings became the basis of a very important religion in Asia
• Grasp the importance of events in the Buddha's life through looking at Buddhist art

The students will be encouraged to:

• Look closely at objects and observe artistic styles and details

• Use prior knowledge in conjunction with observation
• Generate emotional response to events and activities

Using this Resource

• Social Studies teachers and students will be interested in the historical development of the long living religion of Buddhism.
• Art teachers and students will be interested in methods, materials, and techniques used in storytelling through art.
• World Language teachers and students will be interested in discovering the religion most influential to the Asian language speaking cultures.

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