Bathing of the Buddha Festival

A work made of hanging scroll, ink and color on paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of hanging scroll, ink and color on paper.

Date:

Qing dynasty, 1833

Artist:

Hua Ziyou
Chinese, 19th century

About this artwork

This affable and remarkably zany cast of characters plays upon the festive atmosphere of an annual celebration held to commemorate the birth of the historical Buddha and his first shower by water-bearing dragons. Some of the disciples pictured flaunt pseudo-religious “miracles”: one opens his stomach to reveal the Buddha nature within and another magically creates a temple in mid-air. Other disciples nonchalantly engage on superficially mundane activities that allude to Buddhist conduct, such as mending clothes and reading sutras. A lion, elephant, tiger, dragon, and phoenix are also in attendance; some serve as traditional vehicles of Buddhist deities, whereas others are more generally auspicious. Together, these personalities exude the vitality of a secularized but nonetheless sincere faith.

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Asian Art

Artist

Hua Ziyou

Title

Bathing of the Buddha Festival

Origin

China

Date

1833

Medium

Hanging scroll, ink and color on paper

Inscriptions

Festival of the bathing of Budha (dated ) 1883, respectfully written by Hua Ziyou of Hubei.

Dimensions

108.9 × 54.2 cm (42 7/8 × 21 3/8 in.)

Credit Line

Bequest of Joseph Winterbotham

Reference Number

1954.384

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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