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Kasuga Mandala

Period:
Kamakura period (1185–1333)
Date:
13th century
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Hanging scroll; ink, color, and gold on silk
Dimensions:
Image: 35 1/2 × 16 3/4 in. (90.2 × 42.5 cm) Overall with mounting: 63 1/2 × 23 1/8 in. (161.3 × 58.7 cm) Overall with knobs: 63 1/2 × 25 1/2 in. (161.3 × 64.8 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of Takemitsu Oba, 1993
Accession Number:
1993.446
  • Description

    The area of Kasuga was chosen by Fujiwara Fuhito (659–720) to enshrine his ancestral clan deities when the Japanese imperial court moved to Nara in the early eighth century. Here, the Kasuga Shrine and its environs in the ancient capital are depicted in bird’s-eye perspective. At the top is the sacred mountain of Kasuga, and at the bottom left, the Buddhist temple Kōfukuji. Regarded as the special vehicles of the clan deities, deer are shown roaming in the spring landscape, as they still do today.

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
44885

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