Art/ Collection/ Art Object

山水双鳥羽黒鏡
Haguro Mirror (Haguro kyō) with Birds and Flowers by a Stream

Period:
Heian period (794–1185)
Date:
12th century
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
Diam. 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm); D. 1/4 in. (.6 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork
Credit Line:
The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.268.161
Not on view
Related to the Shintō notion of the mirror as an object of almost magical potency was the custom of dedicating personal mirrors to Shintō shrines. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries hope for salvation in Buddhist Pure Land paradises merged with the Shintō notion of certain places as the abode of sacred spirits. Sutras and both Shintō and Buddhist images were buried at such sites believed to be Pure Lands. Associated with this practice was that of throwing mirrors into ponds. Hundreds of examples with bird and flower motifs, such as the lovely ferns and wildflowers seen here, have been recovered from a pond within the precincts of Dewa Shrine atop Mount Haguro in Yamagata Prefecture and are known as Haguro kyō. Their delicate motifs are typical of the art of the Heian aristocracy.
[ Harry G. C. Packard , Tokyo, until 1975; donated and sold to MMA].
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Seasonal Pleasures in Japanese Art (Part One)," October 12, 1995–April 28, 1996.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Seasonal Pleasures in Japanese Art, Part II," May 1, 1996–September 8, 1996.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Resonant Image: Tradition in Japanese Art (Part One)," 1997–98.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Resonant Image: Tradition in Japanese Art (Part Two)," April 27, 1998–September 27, 1998.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Art in Early Japan," 1999–2000.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Enlightening Pursuits," February 28, 2001–August 5, 2001.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Graceful Gestures: A Decade of Collecting Japanese Art," September 29, 2001–March 10, 2002.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Sense of Place: Landscape in Japanese Art," May 8, 2002–September 8, 2002.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Birds, Flowers, and Buddhist Paradise Imagery in Japanese Art," February 14, 2004–June 13, 2004.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Tribute to a Dedicated Collector: Mary Griggs Burke," June 30, 2004–November 29, 2004.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Animals, Birds, Insects, and Marine Life in Japanese Art," June 26, 2008–November 30, 2008.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Metropolitan Vanities: The History of the Dressing Table," December 17, 2013–April 13, 2014.

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