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Shakyamuni with the Sixteen Benevolent Deities


mid- to late 1300s
Painting: 106.5 x 56.6 cm (41 15/16 x 22 5/16 in.); Overall with knobs and cord: 201.5 x 80.4 cm (79 5/16 x 31 5/8 in.)
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Location: not on view

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This painting would have been the main icon for ceremonial readings of the Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra.


The historical Buddha Shakyamuni forms a triad with the bodhisattvas Fugen and Monju. Sixteen deities who protect the Buddhist scripture called the Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra surround them. At the bottom left stands the Chinese monk Xuanzang, noted as a Buddhist scholar and translator of religious texts from India, including the Great Wisdom Sutra.
Shakyamuni with the Sixteen Benevolent Deities

Shakyamuni with the Sixteen Benevolent Deities

mid- to late 1300s

Japan, Nanbokuchō period (1336-92)


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