Exhibitions/ Art Object

迎接曼荼羅 掛幅一幅 絹本著色
Descent and Return of Amida to Western Paradise with a Believer's Soul (Gōshō mandara)

Kamakura period (1185–1333)
ca. 1300
Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk
Image: 44 in. × 20 7/8 in. (111.8 × 53 cm) Overall with mounting: 80 1/2 × 27 3/4 in. (204.5 × 70.5 cm) Overall with knobs: 80 1/2 × 30 in. (204.5 × 76.2 cm)
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:
Not on view
This painting of Amida (Sanskrit: Amitâbha) receiving the soul of the warrior Kumagai Naozane (1141–1208) is based on a dream recorded by the founder of the Pure Land sect, Hōnen (1133–1212). Naozane's taking of the tonsure after dutifully but ruefully killing the young Taira no Atsumori at the battle of Ichinotani during the Genpei War is one of the most affecting stories in Japanese war lore. Unique to this version of the raigō (welcoming descent) theme is the addition of the returning procession in the upper section. The sinuously curved composition of Amida's heavenly host amid the earthly and ethereal landscapes shows the complexity and beauty that Kamakura-period Buddhist painters achieved with the human form.
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