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Japan Anonymous, Japanese
Water Deity Varuna, c. 1336-1573
Paint on paper


Technique: Painting
Period: Muromachi
Credit Line: Purchase, Scripps Collectors' Circle
Accession Number: 2019.21.6


Commentary
The Vedic god of the seas and sky, Varuna, is among twelve Hindu deities that are appropriated by Esoteric Buddhism in China and Japan. The Water Deity then becomes absorbed into the Japanese Shinto pantheon, associated with springs, rivers, water ways and rain, and worshipped for protection against floods and for sufficient water for farming. This particular painting was probably created for display at a Buddhist temple during New Year rituals and has the Sanskrit letter for "va" (for Varuna) at top left).
- Dr. Bruce A. Coats, 2022

Object Description
Full-length portrait of the green deity, who faces the viewer.

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