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Crowned Buddha

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China Anonymous, Chinese
Crowned Buddha, 16th c.
Ink and Colors on Silk
64 5/8 in. x 38 1/2 in. (164.15 cm x 97.79 cm)


Object Type: Scroll
Technique: Brushwork
Creation Place: Asia, China
Credit Line: Gift of Dr. William Bacon Pettus
Accession Number: PE26


Commentary
This large painting was probably made for a Buddhist temple during the Ming Dynasty. The five small Buddha images in his headpiece symbolize various types of spiritual wisdom, and the two foreground figures are guardians of the faith. Celestial beings flank the canopy and rainbow halo.

Doubtful signature of Zhang Nanben (9th c.)

Professor Kathleen Ryor, Carleton College

Marks
No signature or seals.

On the outside of the scroll, in pencil: Tang. Chang Nan Pen. Kwanyin. Traded 2/73 R Petterson MM Pettus.

Medium
Multicolored paint on silk, with tan and dark blue silk brocade mounting, and beige silk between the painting and mount.

Object Description
This large Buddhist painting on silk is an important Ming Dynasty image of Guanyin, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. The scale and richness of mineral pigments indicates that this work was made for display in a major temple, probably donated by a wealthy patron. With its celestial figures, guardian warriors, and elaborate lotus petal throne, this painting represents a grand style of Buddhist painting that was influential throughout East Asia.

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