late 1700s–early 1800s
Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk
Painting only: 114.3 x 56.2 cm (45 x 22 1/8 in.); Including mounting: 186.7 x 76.2 cm (73 1/2 x 30 in.)
The Kelvin Smith Collection, given by Mrs. Kelvin Smith 1985.277
Here, a woman dressed as a man replaces Fugen, a bodhisattva—a being among those considered enlightened in Buddhism—who symbolizes learning as a path to awakening and typically rides an elephant. The painting teaches the lesson of impermanence through the petals falling from the lotus flower the woman holds. It also alludes to the legend of Eguchi, a 12th-century courtesan who, following an encounter with a Buddhist monk-poet called Saigyō, revealed herself to be a manifestation of Fugen.
The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email email@example.com.