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Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk
Painting: 140.8 x 79.3 cm (55 7/16 x 31 1/4 in.); Overall with knobs: 227.8 x 120 cm (89 11/16 x 47 1/4 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1973.70.1
This painting represents bodhisattvas of the ten stages of enlightenment undergoing the final processes toward Buddhahood. This and the scroll nearby form part of a set of scrolls that were used to perform the Water-Land (shuilu) ritual. The sinuous curves of scarf and drapery, the layering of garments, and the minute detail all reflect the opulent visual atmosphere that surrounded the Ming worshipper in temples and spirit halls throughout the country.
In the upper right corner of each painting is an imperial seal and an inscription in gold reading: Donated on the third day of the eighth month in the fifth year of the Jingtai reign (1454) of the Great Ming. Written in ink in the lower left corner is the record that they were made on imperial order, probably to present them to the Da Longfu monastery in Beijing.
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