Public Lecture on “The Illustrated Mahāvaṃsa: Paintings from a 12th Century Myanmar Temple”
Posted on January 24th, 2019

Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka (RASSL)

Public Lecture

The Illustrated Mahāvaṃsa: Paintings from a 12th Century Myanmar Temple”


Dr. Hema Goonatilake


Monday 28th January 2019 at 5.00 p.m.

at the 

Gamini Dissanayake Auditorium

No. 96, Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 07


When Myanmar got her independence, the first country she wanted to have foreign relations was Sri Lanka. The reason for this friendship from Myanmar was a 1000-year-old relationship with Sri Lanka as had cultivated several other countries in South East Asia. This relationship not only introduced Buddhism from Sri Lanka to these countries but also the art of historical writings. All the Chronicles of South East Asia are modelled after the Mahāvaṃsa and incorporates parts of the Mahāvaṃsa. Consequently, heroes of the Mahāvaṃsa like Dutu Gemunu are hero figures in the region. Rajakumar the grandson of the founder of the Pagan Empire and the builder of the 12thcentury Myankabau temple painted on the temple walls major events, as recorded in the Mahāvaṃsa. The present illustrated lecture depicts these paintings and is a result of 10 years research on South East Asia by the speaker.


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