Art/ Collection/ Art Object

十一面観音来迎図
Descent of Eleven-Headed Kannon

Period:
Kamakura period (1185–1333)
Date:
14th century
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Hanging scroll; ink, color, gold, and cut-out gold on silk
Dimensions:
Image: 33 15/16 x 15 1/4 in. (86.2 x 38.7 cm)
Overall with mounting: 64 1/4 x 19 1/2 in. (163.2 x 49.5 cm)
Overall with knobs: 65 1/2 x 22 in. (166.4 x 55.9 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Purchase, Charles Wrightsman Gift, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, Dodge, Pfeiffer and Rogers Funds, and funds from various donors, 1972
Accession Number:
1972.181
Not on view
The bodhisattva Kannon is closely associated with the Buddha of Infinite Light, Amida Nyorai, who vowed to save all sentient beings by bringing them to his Pure Land in the West. This role is indicated in the iconography of his adornment. The crown and rays of light that emanate in all directions from his golden form recall Kannon’s role as the principal attendant to the Amida Buddha (Sanskrit: Amitābha) in visions of descent (raigō). Here, the bodhisattva comes alone to meet the believer, appearing on a cloud as though traveling in haste from his paradise in the southern ocean, called Mount Fudaraka (Sanskrit: Potalaka). His right hand, open to bestow compassion, is encircled by crystal prayer beads, and his left holds a lotus in a vase, representing the healing power of Buddhist law. Eleven diminutive heads atop his own signal the manifold ways he appears to hear, observe, and meet every need. The haloed topmost head is that of Amida.
[ Mayuyama & Co., Ltd. , Tokyo, until 1972; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Japan," 1998.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Sense of Place: Landscape in Japanese Art," May 8, 2002–September 8, 2002.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Sensitivity to the Seasons: Spring and Summer," December 17, 2005–June 4, 2006.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Flowing Streams: Scenes from Japanese Arts and Life," December 21, 2006–June 3, 2007.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "No Ordinary Mortals: The Human Figure in Japanese Art," 2007–2008.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Ukiyo-e Artists' Responses to Romantic Legends of Two Brothers: Narihira and Yukihira," March 27, 2008–June 8, 2008.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Japan," September 27, 2014–January 14, 2015.

Poughkeepsie. Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College. "Embodying Compassion in Buddhist Art: Image, Pilgrimage and Practice," April 23, 2015–June 28, 2015.

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