Shakyamuni with the Sixteen Benevolent Deities

Shakyamuni with the Sixteen Benevolent Deities

釈迦三尊十六善神像

mid- to late 1300s

Hanging scroll; ink, color, gold and cut gold on silk

Painting: 106.5 x 56.6 cm (41 15/16 x 22 5/16 in.); Overall with knobs and cord: 201.5 x 80.4 cm (79 5/16 x 31 5/8 in.)

Gift of Mrs. Henry S. Upson, 25th Anniversary Gift 1941.279

Location

Did you know?

This painting would have been the main icon for ceremonial readings of the Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra.

Description

The historical Buddha Shakyamuni forms a triad with the bodhisattvas Fugen and Monju. Sixteen deities who protect the Buddhist scripture called the Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra surround them. At the bottom left stands the Chinese monk Xuanzang, noted as a Buddhist scholar and translator of religious texts from India, including the Great Wisdom Sutra.

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