Exhibitions/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

白描印相図巻
Scroll of Mudras

Period:
Heian period (794–1185)
Date:
11th–12th century
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Handscroll; ink on paper
Dimensions:
11 3/16 x 97 1/2 in. (28.4 x 247.6 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
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:
1975.268.2
Not on view
This handscroll depicts hand gestures known as mudras in Sanskrit, the Indian language in which many early Esoteric Buddhist texts were written. In Japan, the gestures are called insō, the Japanese term for a Chinese word that combines the characters for "seal" and "form." In Esoteric Buddhism, mudras are physical enactments of ultimate truths revealed through the buddhas and other deities. Practitioners of Esoteric Buddhism in Japan form mudras during meditation and rituals and use them to interpret the meaning of painted and sculpted Buddhist images. This scroll was passed down in the Kyoto temple Shōren-in, a Tendai School temple traditionally administrated by imperial princes who had taken religious vows.
Related Objects

Ten Verses on Oxherding

Date: 1278 Medium: Handscroll; ink and color on paper Accession: 2015.300.10 On view in:Gallery 224

Biographies of Lian Po and Lin Xiangru

Artist: Huang Tingjian (Chinese, 1045–1105) Date: ca. 1095 Medium: Handscroll; ink on paper Accession: 1989.363.4 On view in:Gallery 210

Wang Xizhi watching geese

Artist: Qian Xuan (Chinese, ca. 1235–before 1307) Date: ca. 1295 Medium: Handscroll; ink, color, and gold on paper Accession: 1973.120.6 On view in:Gallery 213

Old Trees, Level Distance

Artist: Guo Xi (Chinese, ca. 1000–ca. 1090) Date: ca. 1080 Medium: Handscroll; ink and color on silk Accession: 1981.276 On view in:Gallery 210

Finches and bamboo

Artist: Emperor Huizong (Chinese, 1082–1135; r. 1100–25) Date: early 12th century Medium: Handscroll; ink and color on silk Accession: 1981.278 On view in:Gallery 210