ShippodoShippodo 新古美術七寳堂
Japanese Butsuga Edo Period Amida Raigo Image

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Devotional Objects: Pre 1800: Item # 1153463

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Japanese Butsuga Edo Period  Amida Raigo Image

The raigo zu or the image of the Buddha descending from the pure land is a popular theme in Buddhist paintings in the esoteric and Pureland Buddhist schools. The earliest images were painted during the Heian period with the popularity of pure land Buddhism among the aristocracy in the capital. By the 13th century, with issues in the economy, politics, international affairs, and domestic, Japan felt that it was undergoing an Armageddon known as Mappo in Japanese. Since this period, the Amida raigo images surged in demand and various sculptures, paintings, woodblock prints, and stone pagodas were made for devotees to pray for a comfortable afterlife.

The work of the presented Raigo image comes from the mid-Edo period approximately from the period of 1700 up to the early part of the 19th century. The painting style appears to have come from not from the imperial or shogunal capitals but from a local region where pure land or tendai/shingon Buddhism is heavily practiced. Regional religious works of art retain a more human or unique aura unlike the fine works done in the imperial and shogunate studios where the images appear perfect and the highest details are given to the work. The work presented, does contain details here and there but unlike the imperial examples, do not use excess amounts of paint, details, or gold. The expressions contain a more Japanese or mingei feel rather than the standard Tang-Song dynasty style influences from China or the imperial temples in Chosun period Korea. The scroll mounting is unique for this work of art, where the top and bottom sections are using an baroque like style European or European influenced silks from the 18th-19th century and the central section of the mounting uses, crane and chrysanthemum motif gold brocade.

Condition: Scroll may have been remounted and restored within the last 100 years or so and has been kept in extremely good condition for the age.

Scroll comes with a storage box. The box contains an inscription stating the name of the work, Muryoju butsu or the Buddha of Infinite Life (Image of) and on the bottom that the work was done by a high ranking monk named, Eshin. Upon research and comparison with the work, Eshin was alive during the 12th -13th centuries when the work is from a much latter period. One can only assume that either there was another Eshin during the Edo period or someone wanted to attribute this work to someone in the past, which is common in many religious and secular works.

Size: Scroll: Height: 67.75" / 172.08 cm x Width: 21" / 53.34cm (without ends: 19.25"/ 48.9 cm) Painting: Height: 31.25"/ 79.37 cm x Width: 14.75" / 37.46 cm

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