Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Jizō Bosatsu in Welcoming Descent (Jizō bosatsu raigō)

Unidentified Artist
Kamakura period (1185–1333)
14th century
Hanging scroll; ink, color, and cut gold on silk
Image: 36 1/2 x 15 1/2 in. (92.7 x 39.4 cm) Overall with mounting: 69 1/4 x 23 1/8 in. (175.9 x 58.7 cm) Overall with knobs: 69 1/4 × 25 7/16 in. (175.9 × 64.6 cm)
Credit Line:
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Accession Number:
Not on view
Veneration of the bodhisattva Jizō (Sanskrit: Kshitagarbha) became widespread during the Kamakura period. Among the iconographies associated with Jizō that originated in this period is this one, in which he manifests in the guise of a monk and rushes through the air to aid the suffering, especially those in hell. Derived from images of the Buddha Amida (Sanskrit: Amitābha) descending to welcome and escort a dying believer to his Pure Land, this painting portrays Jizō surfing the sky on a bank of cloud, his feet upon lotus pedestals. His monk’s robe is decorated with intricate patterns of cut gold. He carries a wishfulfilling jewel and a golden staff with six jangling rings, to announce his arrival.
Mrs. H. O. (Louisine W.) Havemeyer , New York (until d. 1929; bequeathed to MMA)
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