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Amitābha Triad


possibly 1400s
Image: 95.3 x 50.2 cm (37 1/2 x 19 3/4 in.); Overall: 196.2 x 73.3 cm (77 1/4 x 28 7/8 in.)
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Location: not on view

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Amita is flanked by a pair of bodhisattvas, compassionate beings who aid others to reach enlightenment.


This hanging scroll illustrates an apparition of Buddha Amitābha (阿彌陀 in Chinese) and two attendant bodhisattvas, in the midst of colorful light and swirling clouds. The one who carries a miniature image of Amitābha in its jeweled crown is Avalokiteśvara (觀音 in Chinese); the other who carries a flower vase is Mahāsthāmaprāpta (大勢至 in Chinese).

Previously, this work was identified as a rare example of a Korean Buddhist painting from the early Joseon period. In contrast to surviving Korean works from this time the scroll stands out for its fine details. However, other elements such as the striped almond-shaped halo that encircles the main Buddha, firm red lines that define each deity’s facial features, and the flowing garments may identify it as an early Ming period Chinese Buddhist painting.
Amitābha Triad

Amitābha Triad

possibly 1400s

China, Ming dynasty (1368–1644)

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