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Art of the Five Major World Religions

These websites contain information about the art of Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Christianity. You will be able to examine many works of art, including illuminated manuscripts, calligraphy, sculpture, paintings, and ritual objects. There are interactive features, timelines, and thematic essays that discuss the cultural contexts of religion and art.


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Explore this interactive site on the art of Himalayan Buddhism. You can browse the art in the gallery and read about each work, or watch a series of short movies on different topics. Requires the Flash player.
This interactive site has extensive information about Buddhist architecture, ritual object, and images of the Buddha and other enlightened beings. Roll over the images to learn more about each work of art, or play "Fact or Fiction" to learn more about the Buddhist religion. There are photo essays and an interactive timeline. Requires the Flash player.
On this site you can watch a video about Japanese Buddhist art, learn about the origins of Buddhism, view detailed images of selected art objects, and more.
See images of the Borobodur Temple complex and Hill of Sanchi on this website. There are explanations of the perfect proportions of the Buddha's body, mudras, mandalas, and more.
Here is a multi-part essay on the history and development of Islamic art. There are many full color examples, a glossary, and a map.
Students can explore the four general categories of traditional Islamic art in this lesson plan. Materials for the lesson, including trading cards and a slide show quiz, can be downloaded from the site.
Learn all about Arabic calligraphy on this site, including its origins, development, and major calligraphic styles. Click on the links labeled "Written from right to left" or "Arabic alphabet" to launch the animated alphabet interactive.
Here is a brief overview of Islamic art. Click on the links at the left to read about Islamic architecture and literature.
Click on the link marked "Italian Jewish Art" to read an article about the subject. Click on "Cycle of the Year" or "Cycle of Life" to view detailed images of art objects and read about their function and purpose.
This exhibit includes essays, images, and a glossary to help visitors learn more about the cultural and historical context of Jewish art objects and their relationship to the rituals of Jewish religious practice.
Here are a number of examples of Jewish ceremonial objects, both antique and contemporary, with color images and detailed descriptions.
Here you can read about Judaica and view examples of Jewish ceremonial art objects. Explore the links on the left to learn more about Jewish history or see historical paintings, prints, and photographs.
Explore this interactive exhibition on Jewish art and culture. You can examine fine art and ceremonial objects, read analysis and commentary, or listen to interview excerpts.
Here you can read six thematic essays and see thirty-three works of art and from the museum's collection. Click on a thumbnail image for a larger view and detailed description.
Read this essay about the history of Hindu art in Sri Lanka, and view a slide show of Hindu bronze statuary.
Browse South Asian and Himalayan art, or explore the interactive features on this website to learn more about Hindu art.
Explore the artistic gardens of the Mughals, a Muslim Empire that controlled the northern Indian subcontinent. Read a short essay about each garden, see pictures, answer review questions, or listen to music clips.
This online guide for teachers contains background information, activities, and a resource list about Hindu worship.
Find out about the Hindu goddess Devi on this interactive site. Includes background information, many representations of Devi in art, and glossary terms.
Explore this interactive feature to learn about Chola Bronzes from South India. Includes information on the history of the Chola Dynasty, the casting process, Hindu practice, and the Hindu pantheon.
Browse this collection of antique Biblical manuscripts. Click on a thumbnail image to see a description and a high resolution enlargement.
Here is an index of thematic essays relating to medieval art, Christian and secular. Each essay contains prime examples with descriptive text. You can read about Gothic architecture, stained glass, monasticism, and more.
Here you can read forty-seven thematic essays or view 250 works of art and from the museum's collection. Click on a thumbnail image for a larger view and detailed description.
Compare primary source religious texts on this website. Included is a Bible from Ethiopia, a copy of the Qur'an, a Hebrew Bible, and a Hebrew Haggadah. Includes textual and audio notes.

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