釋迦文殊普賢十大弟子像 Shaka, Monju, Fugen and the Ten Great Disciples (Jūdai Deshi)
Kamakura period (1185–1333)
Hanging scroll; ink, color, and gold on silk
Image: 42 x 22 1/8 in. (106.7 x 56.2 cm) Overall with mounting: 77 1/2 x 30 in. (196.9 x 76.2 cm) Overall with knobs: 77 1/2 x 32 in. (196.9 x 81.3 cm)
Gift of Sue Cassidy Clark, in honor of Dr. Barbara Brennan Ford, 2009
Not on view
The enlightened historical Buddha Shaka (Sanskrit: Shakyamuni) is enthroned and flanked by his ten chief disciples and his bodhisattva attendants—Fugen (Samantabhadra), on a white elephant, and Monju (Manjushri), atop a lion. The attendants serve as the Buddha’s active agents in this world: Fugen represents Buddhist practice, while Monju stands for its wisdom, particularly in the form of meditation and teaching. The pyramid of figures, with the transcendent Shaka at the apex and axis, projects the enduring nature of the faith. The subtle contrast between the broad-shouldered stasis of the Buddha and the animation of the bodhisattvas and their mounts is a visual interpretation of the figures’ theological significance.
This richly painted icon, rendered in fine pigments and gold on silk, demonstrates how Japanese Buddhist painting of the medieval era was directly influenced by Chinese Buddhist painting of the Song dynasty (960–1279).
Inscription: (on lid of inner storage box) 釋迦文殊普賢十大弟子 巨勢大納言金圖筆
(on lid of outer storage box) 釋尊文殊普賢十大弟子像 巨勢大納言金圖筆 一幅
Sue Cassidy Clark , New York (until 2009; donated to MMA)