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The bodhisattva Samantabhadra (Japanese: Fugen Bosatsu)
普賢菩薩 鎌倉時代
Place of Origin: Japan
Date: 1200-1300
Historical Period: Kamakura period (1185-1333)
Object Name: Hanging scroll
Materials: Ink, colors, and gold on silk
Dimensions: H. 69 in x W. 21 3/4 in, H. 175.2 cm x W. 55.2 cm (overall); H. 28 in x W. 14 1/2 in, H. 71.1 cm x W. 36.8 cm (image)
Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection
Department: Japanese Art
Collection: Painting
Object Number: B66D2
On Display: No

Description

Label: This Buddhist painting shows the bodhisattva of benevolence Samantabhadra, called Fugen in Japanese. As described in the Buddhist scripture the Lotus Sutra, Fugen is mounted on a six-tusked elephant. He makes the gesture of prayer with both  hands before his chest. In the Japanese tradition Fugen personifies the active aspects of the Buddha's teachings: meditation and practice. He is paired with his counterpart, Manjushri (Japanese: Monju), as an attendant of Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha. While Fugen is often depicted on an elephant, Monju is shown riding on a lion. Worship of Fugen reached its height late in the Heian period (794–1185), a pessimistic time during which people feared an imminent decline in the power of the Buddha's teachings. Many believed that Fugen would protect those teachings with all his power; he was also seen as an effective protector of women.

More Information

Exhibition History: "Masterworks of Japanese Buddhist Painting", Asia House Gallery (10/11/1979-12/9/1979), Denver Art Museum (3/27/1980-5/11/1980)
"Masterpieces of Oriental Art from the Collection of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco", Kyoto National Museum, 10/17/1995 - 11/26/1995
"For the New Century: Japanese Treasures from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco", Japan Society, New York, 3/22/2000 - 7/9/2000
Label: This Buddhist painting shows the bodhisattva of benevolence Samantabhadra, called Fugen in Japanese. As described in the Buddhist scripture the Lotus Sutra, Fugen is mounted on a six-tusked elephant. He makes the gesture of prayer with both  hands before his chest. In the Japanese tradition Fugen personifies the active aspects of the Buddha's teachings: meditation and practice. He is paired with his counterpart, Manjushri (Japanese: Monju), as an attendant of Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha. While Fugen is often depicted on an elephant, Monju is shown riding on a lion. Worship of Fugen reached its height late in the Heian period (794–1185), a pessimistic time during which people feared an imminent decline in the power of the Buddha's teachings. Many believed that Fugen would protect those teachings with all his power; he was also seen as an effective protector of women.
Exhibition History: "Masterworks of Japanese Buddhist Painting", Asia House Gallery (10/11/1979-12/9/1979), Denver Art Museum (3/27/1980-5/11/1980)
"Masterpieces of Oriental Art from the Collection of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco", Kyoto National Museum, 10/17/1995 - 11/26/1995
"For the New Century: Japanese Treasures from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco", Japan Society, New York, 3/22/2000 - 7/9/2000