May 19, Anne Feng

Friday, May 19,  4:30 to 6:30pm, CWAC156

Facing Vulture Peak: Pivoting Perspectives of Lady Vaidehi and a Visual Culture of the Pure Land

Anne Feng

Department of Art History, University of Chicago, Ph.D. candidate

This presentation offers a new framework for understanding the figure of Lady Vaidehī, an enigmatic character who serves as the arch meditator in Pure Land practices. In the textual tradition of narratives that concern Lady Vaidehi, she appears as a figure that is surprisingly difficult to identify with; and yet, a sophisticated visual culture of the Pure Land seems to pivot around her body and her viewpoints. In this talk, I pose a set of questions that have been neglected by previous scholars: What is the significance of this female figure? What does it mean to see through her eyes? I show that, through material and pictorial scaffolding at Dunhuang, she is designed as a viewer/worshipper par excellence, and Tang painters were deeply fascinated by the Buddha’s miraculous ability to traverse space to meet with her face to face.

 Friday, May 19,  4:30 to 6:30pm, CWAC156
Persons with concerns regarding accessibility please contact  Zhiyan Yang (


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