Welcoming Descent of Amida and Bodhisattvas

Unidentified artist

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 224

Like many of the works of art created to represent the Pure Land belief in salvation through faith, raigō, or “welcoming descent,” paintings were indispensable religious furnishings at the deathbed. Raigō pictures show a scene in which Amida and his retinue descend from heaven, dancing and playing music, to deliver a believer back to the Pure Land. The scrolls were often hung by the bedside of the dying to ensure the prospect of rebirth in paradise. Since the dying were traditionally laid with their heads to the north and their faces turned west, raigō paintings usually depict the Buddha and his entourage coming from the upper left in order to meet a person’s gaze. Sometimes silken cords were attached to Buddha’s hand, offering physical assistance during the journey to paradise.

On view for rotations 1 and 2

#8845. Welcoming Descent of Amida and Bodhisattvas

Welcoming Descent of Amida and Bodhisattvas, Unidentified artist, Hanging scroll; ink, color, and gold on silk, Japan

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