The Great Statue of Amida Buddha at Kamakura, Known as the Daibutsu, from the Priest's Garden
John La Farge (American, New York 1835–1910 Providence, Rhode Island)
Watercolor and gouache on off-white wove paper
19 1/4 x 12 1/2 in. (48.9 x 31.8 cm)
Gift of the family of Maria L. Hoyt, 1966
Not on view
On a trip to Japan with Henry Adams in 1886, La Farge enlisted watercolor—the familiar medium of the traveling artist—to create studies for illustrations and to paint sheets for exhibition. He executed this bold and monumental composition after his return to New York, using a watercolor sketch done during his travels as well as photographs that he and Adams had taken. The Daibutsu, or Great Buddha, a fifty-foot-high bronze cast in 1252, is renowned for its colossal size, its peaceful demeanor, and its unusual site in the open air surrounded by mountains and trees.