Japanese Religious Sculpture


A pair of images of Seishi and Kannon Bosatsu, each standing in tribankha pose and clad in elegant multicolored tunics falling in stylized pleats and draped with flowing, billowing sashes cascading in elegant folds over their shoulders and arms, which are held closed to their attenuated torsos; their graceful hands are outstretched in varada and vitarka mudras, respectively; inset painted crystal eyes and urnas framed by blue-pigmented locks drawn up into high chignons encircled by diadems; looped earlobes would once have been ornamented; each figure is backed by a circular lotus-form kohai carved amid stylized cloud streams of the lotus-petal-form mandorla; all set atop multi-colored lotus thrones resting on two-tiered plinths with carved floral patterns and chase metal fittings; minor losses and restorations; Gilt-lacquered wood; Edo (1600-1868); Japan. Height: 49 inches (124.46 cm); Width: 18 inches (45.72 cm).

Provenance: A gift of Mrs. Leland Stanford to the Stanford University Art Museum; with photo of exhibit.


Sandalwood zushi (Buddhist traveler's shrine) made up of three panels of a superbly-carved triad congregation of Amida-Sanzon in the interior: the central figure of Amida Nyorai, seated on a lotus throne and under an elaborately bejewelled canopy, is flanked by Kannon on his right and Seishi on his left, all amidst floating clouds; sumptuously gilded and painted details; the exterior is skillfully embellished in gold and silver takamakie with the theme of sun and moon amongst clouds above a blossoming lotus pond; gold takamakie simulating fittings and rivets; embossed butterfly-form hinges; Edo (1615-1868); 4.2 inches (10.7 cm) high; 3.25 inches (8.3 cm) wide.




A gilt bronze shrine comprises various assembled sections with superbly cast themes; the structure houses a finely carved Muromachi period wood Kannon Bosatsu, supported on a lotus base and tiered platforms; incised signature of the artisan on the back; 17th/18th century; Edo period; Japan. 11.38 inches (28.9 cm) high.


Last updated 20/05/2004  Michelle Lin