Buddha Amitabha Descending from His Pure Land


Not on view

The imagery in this painting shows the Buddha Amitabha descending from his Pure Land to welcome the soul of a recently deceased individual into his paradisiacal abode. Amitabha is one of several Buddhas who create and maintain such realms, and paintings of Amitabha (either alone or attended by bodhisattvas) were among the most widely produced images in China from the twelfth to the fourteenth century. Here, the Buddha stands on two lotuses and holds his right hand in a gesture of welcome. He wears a green undergarment with a wide hem decorated with floral patterns and a red monastic shawl with gold bands. The abstracted folds of drapery on the right arm, the transparency of the green garment as it falls over the arm, and the figure's bean-shaped face are characteristic of the thirteenth century.

Buddha Amitabha Descending from His Pure Land, Hanging scroll; ink, color, and gold on silk, China

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