Buddha Amitabha (Amita) and the Eight Great Bodhisattvas

citation

Buddha and eight disciples. The Buddha is seated on a lotus throne aloft, in the attitude of teaching. His throne rests upon an alter decorated in lotus motive, and before this and at his sides are eight Bodhisattvas, the “Beings of Enlightenment”, depicted in beauty and brilliantly garbed. Each, like the Buddha himself, has a nimbus. The Bodhisattvas are standing, in groups of four. Silk a deep dark brown, considerably worn and showing some cracks. Vestiges of seal marks at lower left, unreadable. One seal, undecipherable.

Historical period(s)
Late Goryeo period, mid-late 14th century
Medium
Ink, color, and gold on silk
Dimensions
H x W (image): 160.3 x 86 cm (63 1/8 x 33 7/8 in)
Geography
Korea
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
F1906.269
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Hanging scroll (mounted on panel)

Keywords
Amitabha Buddha, Avalokitesvara, bodhisattva, Buddha, Buddhism, dharmachakra mudra, Goryeo period (918 - 1392), halo, Korea, Ksitigarbha, lotus, Mahasthamaprapta, Maitreya Buddha, Manjushri, preaching, Samantabhadra, throne
Provenance

To 1906
Yamanaka & Company, to 1906 [1]

From 1906 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Yamanaka & Company in 1906 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]

Notes:

[1] Undated folder sheet note. Also see Original Kakemono and Makimono List, L. 537, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. The majority of Charles Lang Freer’s purchases from Yamanaka & Company were made at its New York branch. Yamanaka & Company maintained branch offices, at various times, in Boston, Chicago, London, Peking, Shanghai, Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto. During the summer, the company also maintained seasonal locations in Newport, Bar Harbor, and Atlantic City.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Yamanaka and Co. (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919

Description

Buddha and eight disciples. The Buddha is seated on a lotus throne aloft, in the attitude of teaching. His throne rests upon an alter decorated in lotus motive, and before this and at his sides are eight Bodhisattvas, the "Beings of Enlightenment", depicted in beauty and brilliantly garbed. Each, like the Buddha himself, has a nimbus. The Bodhisattvas are standing, in groups of four. Silk a deep dark brown, considerably worn and showing some cracks. Vestiges of seal marks at lower left, unreadable. One seal, undecipherable.

Label

Amitabha, known in Korean as Amita-bul, the Buddha who promises salvation to all believers, is seated in the center of a goup of eight bodhisattvas (enlightened beings). The Buddha wears a red robe embelished with gold patterns, while all but one of the bodhisattvas wear jeweled crowns and fine, translucent garments. Only one, Kshitigarbha, who has the power to save even those who have been reborn in Hell, wears a simpler, hooded garment. Under court patronage Korean Buddhist art of the Koryo dynasty (918-1392) developed an extraordinarily refined style.

Published References
  • Osvald Siren. Chinese Paintings in American Collections. Annales du Musee Guimet. Bibliotheque d'art. Nouvelle serie. II Paris and Brussels, 1927-1928. pl. 185.
  • Ernest Francisco Fenollosa. Epochs of Chinese and Japanese Art: An Outline History of East Asiatic Design. 2 vols., London and New York. opp. p. 148.
  • Paths to Perfection, Buddhist Art at the Freer/Sackler. Washington, D.C. pp. 66-67.
  • Korean Art in the Freer and Sackler Galleries. Washington, D.C. no. 7.5, p. 137.
  • Ann Yonemura. A Pioneer Collection of Korean Art. vol. 118, no. 258 London, August 1983. p. 151.
Collection Area(s)
Korean Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum