The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of April 20, 2018

Nikko, the Sun Bodhisattva, c. 800s

wood, carved from one block of Japanese yew, Overall: h. 46.7 cm (18 3/8 in.). John L. Severance Fund 1961.48

Nikko, the Sun Bodhisattva, with its enigmatic gaze, seems to radiate compassion. The flowing robes and curving posture might have been influenced by Chinese Buddhist sculpture; however, the interplay of the wood grain in this single block of yew, with the artist's subtle carving, is a Japanese innovation. Originally paired with the Moon Bodhisattva, this figure likely flanked a sculpture of Yakushi Nyorai, the Healing Buddha.

Asia House Gallery, New York, 1968: Japanese Arts of the Heian Period: 794-1185.
Cleveland Museum of Art, 1975: Traditions and Revisions.
Japan House Gallery, 1981: One Thousand Years of Japanese Art (650-1650) from The Cleveland Museum of Art.
Cleveland Museum of Art, 1986: The Twain Shall Meet.
Cleveland Museum of Art, 1991: Object Lessons.

The Cleveland Museum of Art (06/28/2009 - 08/30/2009): "Streams and Mountains Without End: Asian Art and the Legacy of Sherman E. Lee at the Cleveland Museum of Art"

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Library materials about Japan, Heian Period (794-1185) (108)

Detail Views