Hanging scroll, ink, color, gold, and cut gold on silk
Mounted: 197 x 58.7 cm (77 9/16 x 23 1/8 in.); Painting only: 110.6 x 40.7 cm (43 9/16 x 16 in.)
Gift of Rosemarie and Leighton Longhi in memory of Robert P. Bergman 1999.195
In this image the figure of Miroku, Maitreya in Sanskrit, is richly adorned with gauzy fabrics, opulent jewels, and an intricate gold crown containing five seated Buddhas. Buddhist teachings say that Miroku will descend to Earth as a Buddha to restore Buddhist doctrine at the end of a long period of decline. Here he is represented as a bodhisattva, a being who has attained enlightenment but has chosen to postpone becoming a Buddha to help others reach enlightenment. Above the painting, three inscriptions present portions of a sacred text related to Miroku. A close look at the bodhisattva’s right side where fragile pigments have fallen away reveals writing on the back of the silk on which the image is painted— something its mounters never expected to be seen.
The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email email@example.com.