Art/ Collection/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

The Buddha Amitayus Attended by Bodhisattvas

Date:
11th or early 12th century
Culture:
Tibet
Medium:
Distemper on cloth
Dimensions:
Overall: 54 1/2 x 41 3/4 in. (138.4 x 106.1 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1989
Accession Number:
1989.284
Not on view
The cult of Amitayus, the Buddha of Eternal Life, was popular in Tibet, where his followers believed that devotion to this Buddha would prolong life. Amitayus is shown holding a jar containing the elixir of immortality, amrita, in his lap. He is richly bejeweled and has a golden complexion, creating radiance appropriate to his transcendent nature. He mediates in a heavenly assembly of bodhisattvas, flanked by two standing bodhisattvas typical of medieval eastern Indian art and an array of seated bodhisattvas who receive his doctrine. The seven figures in the uppermost register are monastic robed hierarchs. In the lower register is a couple, presumably donors of the painting, and a monk, likely their spiritual mentor.
Inscription: Mantras on the back:

ōṃ sa rva byid svā hā ||
ye dha rmā he tu pra bha bā he tun
te ṣān ta thā ga to hya HŪṂ ba dad te
ṣān tsa yo ni ro dha ye baṃ bā ti ma hā shra ma ṇaḥ|
bzod pa dka’ thub dam pa bzod pa'I |
mya ngan ’das pa mchog
ces sangs rgyas gsung ||
rab du byung ba gzhan la gnod pa dang || gzhan la ’tshe ba
dge’ sbyong ma yin no ||

Nothing can be read out of the mantras on the back, which are the most often used ones: the sarvavid-mantra is followed by the Buddhist creed and the patience creed. Eventually, a comparison of the mistakes in the mantras will yield additional information.

Christian Luczanits, Saturday, May 22, 2004
Related Objects

Buddha Amoghasiddhi with Eight Bodhisattvas

Date: ca. 1200–50 Medium: Distemper on cloth Accession: 1991.74 On view in:Not on view

Portrait of Jnanatapa Attended by Lamas and Mahasiddhas

Date: ca. 1350 Medium: Distemper on cloth Accession: 1987.144 On view in:Gallery 253

Lineage Portrait of an Abbot

Date: ca. 1350 Medium: Distemper on cloth Accession: 1991.304 On view in:Gallery 253

Portrait of the Indian Monk Atisha

Date: early to mid-12th century Medium: Distemper and gold on cloth Accession: 1993.479 On view in:Gallery 253

Interior of a Book Cover: Manjuvajra Embracing His Consort, with Attendant Lamas

Date: late 13th century Medium: Distemper on wood Accession: 1998.75 On view in:Gallery 253