Water-Moon Kannon (Suigetsu Kannon)

Water-Moon Kannon (Suigetsu Kannon)



Hanging scroll, ink, gold, silver, color, and cut gold-leaf on silk

Painting: 104.5 x 41.9 cm (41 1/8 x 16 1/2 in.); Overall with knobs: 188.9 x 64.8 cm (74 3/8 x 25 1/2 in.)

Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1992.119



Kannon represents a primary figure of benevolence and compassion in the Buddhist pantheon. Identified early in Buddhist texts as a close attendant to the Buddha, by the 700s Kannon's popularity soared to such an extent in China, Korea, and Japan that the bodhisattva was often worshipped independently. Here at the lower left, Kannon is depicted with the child Zenzai Dōji (Sakskrit: Sudhana), a wealthy boy who, according to the final chapter of the Flower Garland Sutra, visited Kannon's abode Fudaraka (Sanskrit: Potalaka) during a long journey to learn the bodhisattva path.

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