University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Object TitleBuddha with Sixteen Benign Deities (Shaka juuroku zenshin) 釈迦十六善神
Native NameKakemono
Object Number:85-28-9
Current Location: Collections Storage
Provenience: Japan
Maker: Shuho
Date Made: 18th Century
Early Date: 1700
Late Date: 1799
Iconography:Sakyamuni Buddha
Jinja Taishou
Inscription Language:Japanese Language
Height: 242.57 cm
Width: 109.85 cm
Credit Line:Received from various sources, pre-1985
Other Number:LO-1885-1 - Old Museum Number


Painting of Buddha with Sixteen Benign Dignitaries (Shaka ju-roku zenshin) signed by the obscure painter Shuho. This painting represents Buddha surrounded by sixteen benign guardians who include the Chinese monk Xuanzang his attendant, the converted demon Jinja Taisho (深沙大将), and 14 bodhisattvas. The bodhisattvas are dressed in celestial attire. Xuanzang is dressed in customary monks' robes with a backpack full of sutras. Among the numerous sutras he carried on back from India during his pilgrimage ( 629-645 CE) is the Mahaprajna Paramita, the Sutra of the Perfection of Wisdom. This important and voluminous sutra, which he translated, quickly gained popularity in China and became a principle text in East Asian Buddhism. Thus, this painting is the pictorial representation of the essence of the sutra - Buddhist wisdom through enlightenment. It also serves as a visual reminder of the merits of Xuanzang, whose deification made him a role model. Many versions of this theme are still extant. They often functioned as the chief object of worship in a temple.

Current & Past Exhibitions:

Buddhism: History and Diversity of a Great Tradition (12 Dec 1985 - 21 Oct 2012) View Objects in Exhibition


[Catalogue] Possehl, Gregory L., and Ch'eng-mei, Chang, and Peters, Heather, and Lyons, Elizabeth. 1985. Buddhism: History and Diversity of a Great Tradition.. Philadelphia. The University Museum. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: 29View Objects related to this Actual Citation

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