Across two and a half millennia, the life of the Buddha has been depicted in art rich in beauty and complexity. Most paintings and sculptures focus on key episodes in his spiritual journey: his birth and childhood, his renunciation of worldly life, his enlightenment, his first teaching, his life as a teacher, and his death.
But Buddhist traditions vary. Ways of illustrating the Buddha's life story are often distinctive, depending on the culture and period of production. We have brought together examples of how different cultures have represented two key chapters of the Buddha's life: his career as a teacher and the moment of his death.
--David Grubin, Filmmaker, The Buddha
The Buddha rebroadcasts on December 22 (check local listings).