late 1500s–early 1600s
Hanging scroll, ink and color on silk
Overall with knobs: 236.9 x 105.7 cm (93 1/4 x 41 5/8 in.); Painting only: 130.8 x 75 cm (51 1/2 x 29 1/2 in.)
Gift of David S. Utterberg and the Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 1994.94
Originally, this scroll was acquired by the museum as a Korean work, but has now been tentatively reattributed as Ming period Chinese.
This magnificent Buddha, called Amitābha (literally, “infinite light”) is seated on a lotus pedestal with both palms facing up over crossed legs, suggesting that it is in deep meditation. In contrast to the richly ornamented throne on which the Buddha is seated, the figure itself is devoid of any jewelry or decorative attributes, emphasizing its enlightened status and detachment from worldly affairs. The lion head in the center of the pedestal is a motif from Central Asia, which can also be seen in the halo or nimbus of Chinese Buddhist stone steles.
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