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Taima mandala
Place of Origin: Japan
Date: 1300-1400
Historical Period: Muromachi period (1392-1573)
Object Name: Hanging scroll
Materials: Ink, colors and gold on silk
Dimensions: H. 70 1/8 in x W. 66 7/8 in, H. 178.12 cm x W. 169.86 cm (image); H. 82 3/8 in x W. 77 1/2 in, H. 209.23 cm x W. 196.85 cm (overall ), diameter of support 2 9/16 in. 6.5 cm, diameter of knob 2 1/2 in, 6.35 cm
Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection
Department: Japanese Art
Collection: Painting
Object Number: B61D11+
On Display: No

Description

Label: The Taima mandala is the most important ritual painting of the Pure Land Sect of Buddhism. The painting shows the Western Paradise, with the Buddha Amitabha (Japanese: Amida) at its center, sitting on a lotus throne, hands held before his chest in the gesture of preaching. Flanking him are two bodhisattvas and other attendants. Before them are musicians and dancers on a platform. Below this is the Holy Pond, where souls are being reborn among lotus flowers and leaves. The scenes in the right, left, and bottom borders narrate the ways to be reborn in this paradise.

This painting is modeled on an eighth-century mandala that was housed at Taima Temple in Nara. The silk hanging measured four meters square. It remained little noticed until 1217, when it was rediscovered and brought to popular attention. Thereafter, painted copies of it were made and distributed throughout Japan for more than 700 years. The painting displayed here is acknowledged as one of the best of the early devotional copies because it retains the grand scale, beautiful colors, and excellent artisanship of the earlier work.

More Information

Exhibition History: "Masterpieces of Oriental Art from the Collection of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco", Kyoto National Museum, 10/17/1995 - 11/26/1995

"For the New Century: Japanese Treasures from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco", Japan Society, New York, 3/22/2000 - 7/9/2000

Enter the Mandala: Cosmic Centers and Mental Maps of Himalayan Buddhism, March 14 — October 26, 2014, Asian Art Museum
Label: The Taima mandala is the most important ritual painting of the Pure Land Sect of Buddhism. The painting shows the Western Paradise, with the Buddha Amitabha (Japanese: Amida) at its center, sitting on a lotus throne, hands held before his chest in the gesture of preaching. Flanking him are two bodhisattvas and other attendants. Before them are musicians and dancers on a platform. Below this is the Holy Pond, where souls are being reborn among lotus flowers and leaves. The scenes in the right, left, and bottom borders narrate the ways to be reborn in this paradise.

This painting is modeled on an eighth-century mandala that was housed at Taima Temple in Nara. The silk hanging measured four meters square. It remained little noticed until 1217, when it was rediscovered and brought to popular attention. Thereafter, painted copies of it were made and distributed throughout Japan for more than 700 years. The painting displayed here is acknowledged as one of the best of the early devotional copies because it retains the grand scale, beautiful colors, and excellent artisanship of the earlier work.
Exhibition History: "Masterpieces of Oriental Art from the Collection of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco", Kyoto National Museum, 10/17/1995 - 11/26/1995

"For the New Century: Japanese Treasures from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco", Japan Society, New York, 3/22/2000 - 7/9/2000

Enter the Mandala: Cosmic Centers and Mental Maps of Himalayan Buddhism, March 14 — October 26, 2014, Asian Art Museum