Shakyamuni Triad: Buddha Attended by Manjushri and Samantabhadra


late 1300s
Painting: 106.9 x 46.4 cm (42 1/16 x 18 1/4 in.); Overall with knobs: 192 x 66.7 cm (75 9/16 x 26 1/4 in.)
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Did You Know?

This triptych is based on the Lotus Sutra, a Buddhist scripture that welcomes female worshippers.


This triptych is a rare example of Yuan Buddhist painting. It depicts the historic Buddha Shakyamuni flanked by two attending bodhisattvas, Manjushri (the bodhisattva of wisdom, riding a lion) and Samantabhadra (the bodhisattva of universal virtue, riding an elephant). Below them are others seeking enlightenment: two disciples of the Buddha (Ananada and Kasyapa), two non-Chinese people, a boy with topknots, and a female worshiper.

The clouds above and around the divine beings form one scene that illustrates Shakyamuni’s sermon from the Lotus Sutra. This text became an important basis for Buddhist faith throughout East Asia and was central to the Mahayana school of Buddhism.
Shakyamuni Triad: Buddha Attended by Manjushri and Samantabhadra

Shakyamuni Triad: Buddha Attended by Manjushri and Samantabhadra

late 1300s

China, Fuzhou, Fujian Province, Yuan dynasty (1271-1368)

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