Hanging scroll; ink on colored paper decorated with cut gold (kirikane), sprinkled gold (sunago), and silver leaf
10 x 3 9/16 in. (25.4 x 9.1 cm)
Purchase, Friends of Asian Art Gifts, 1990
Not on view
This five-line segment of a sumptuous scroll of the Lotus Sutra perfectly embodies the aesthetics and religious practice of the late Heian period. The text, from chapter 19, is a litany of fabled fragrances. This is an example of an ultra-refined sutra: written in elegant script, on paper decorated with delicate cloud patterns, in a border of richly sprinkled gold and silver leaf. Its putative calligrapher, Kujō Kanezane, was an illustrious statesman and poet of the late twelfth century.