About this artwork
The second half of the 12th century was a time of great political instability in Japan. Aristocrats felt as if they were living in an age of mappo, or Buddhist decline, and were preoccupied with the afterlife. This sutra is part of a famous set of 5,000 scriptures likely commissioned by Emperor Toba (1103–1156) and completed by his son, Emperor Go-Shirakawa (1127–1192), in 1185. The frontispiece of the sutra shows the Buddha preaching at Vulture Peak. At the beginning of the text is the seal of Jingoji temple in red. The ruled lines of text are in silver, and the Chinese characters are brushed in gold in a balanced and orderly script. Those with the means to launch such a project believed that all involved received merit and were assured a favorable rebirth in paradise. As a result of this belief, decorated sutras were some of the most extravagant commissions of their time.
Currently Off View
- Arts of Asia
- Jingoji Sutra
- Gold and silver pigments on indigo-dyed paper
- 25.8 (28.9 with knobs) × 1,289 cm
- Purchased with Funds Provided by the Weston Foundation