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Mural Painting

Object Number:
C688
Current Location:
China Gallery
Culture:
Chinese
Provenience:
China
Shanxi
Hongtong
Guangshengsi
Period:
Ming Dynasty
Date Made:
C. 1476
Early Date:
1476
Late Date:
1496
Section:
Asian
Materials:
Mud
Seeds
Straw
Leaves
Tempera
Technique:
Mural
Painted
Iconography:
Bhaisajyaguru Buddha
Bodhisattvas
Guardian
Yaksa General
Description:
Mural painting from temple wall. Complete wall, total of 23 sections. The central figure in this mural is Bhaisajyaguru, the Healing or Medicine Buddha. He is associated with longevity and guards against untimely death, nightmares, evil apparitions, vicious animals, robbers, thieves, and invading states. The Bodhisattvas of the Moon and Sun, identified by the aureoles or circular lights around their heads, form a triad with the Buddha.

Bhaisajyaguru is also accompanied by the Twelve Guardian Generals who represent the Buddha's twelve vows. The Generals make offerings to the Buddha so he will grant their wishes and free them from suffering. They have pledged to protect those who inform others about Bhaisajyaguru.

Worshippers turned to this image to try and visualize themselves in paradise, a beautiful place with jeweled trees, palaces, lotus ponds, musicians, and dancers. Some believed that worshippers could be reborn in paradise by simply reciting the name of Buddha Amitabha rather then through meditation and austerities.
Credit Line:
Purchased from C. T. Loo

Current & Past Exhibitions:

Chinese Rotunda (1968)
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Chinese Halls (1941 - 1966)
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Bibliography:

[Article] Steinhardt, Nancy S. 2008. "The Chinese Rotunda". Arts of Asia. 38 (5): 83-95. : Page/Fig./Plate: Pg. 92, Fig. 26; Pg. 93, Fig. 28
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[Book] Jing, Anning. 2002. The Water God's Temple of the Guangsheng Monastery: Cosmic Function of Art, Ritual, & Theater. : Page/Fig./Plate: Pg. 211-212, Fig. 4-18
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[Article] Baldwin, Michelle. 1994. Monumental Wall Paintings of the Assembly of the Buddha from Shanxi Province: Historiography, Iconography, Three Styles, and a New Chronology. Artibus Asiae. 54 (3/4): 241-267.
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[Article] Jing, Anning. 1991. The Yuan Buddhist Mural of the Paradise of Bhaisajyaguru. Metropolitan Museum Journal. Volume 26: 147-166.
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[Article] Steinhardt, Nancy S. 1987. Zhu Haogu Reconsidered: A New Date for the Rom Painting and the Southern Shanxi Buddhist-Daoist Style. Artibus Asiae. Volume XLVIII ( 1/2)
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[Article] Ka-bo, Tsang. 1979. Royal Ontario Museum, Far Eastern Department. Arts of Asia. 9 (2): Chinese Paintings.
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[Article] Lippe, Aschwin. 1965. Buddha and the Holy Multitude. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. 23 (9): p. 325-335. : Page/Fig./Plate: Fig. 15
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[Article] Jayne, Horace H. F. 1941. The Chinese Collections of The University Museum: A Handbook of the Principal Objects. The University Museum Bulletin. 9 (2-3) : Page/Fig./Plate: Pg. 16 Fig. 10
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[Article] 1929. Recent Museum Acquisitions - Eastern Art. Parnassus. Volume I (December) (No. 8): pg. 30. : Page/Fig./Plate: 30
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[Article] Fernald, Helen E. 1929. Two Sections of Chinese Fresco Newly Acquired. The Museum Journal. Volume XX (No. 2): 119-130. : Page/Fig./Plate: 119-129
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[Article] Miller, J. L. 1928. "Ancient Chinese Wall Paintings: Recently Brought to This Country by the University of Pennsylvania Museum". The Mentor. 16 (3 (April)): 41-44. : Page/Fig./Plate: 43-44
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[Article] Fernald, Helen E. 1928. Another Fresco from Moon Hill Monastery. The Museum Journal. Volume XIX (2) : Page/Fig./Plate: 109-129
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[Article] Yetts, W. P. 1927. Some Buddhist Frescoes from China. The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs. Volume 51 ( No. 294) : Page/Fig./Plate: 121-128, Plates I, II
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[Article] Fernald, Helen E. 1926. Chinese Frescoes of the T'ang Dynasty in the Museum, 618-906 A.D. The Museum Journal. Volume XVII (No. 3) : Page/Fig./Plate: 229-244
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