Not currently on display at the V&A

Amitabha

Painting
1800-1850 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

The painting depicts Amitabha Buddha as the central figure flanked by Buddha’s two early disciples (Ananda and Mahakasyapa), and Buddha's attendants (Avalokitesvara and Mahasthamaprapta) with auspicious spirits radiating in five colours in the background. Amitabha sits in a crossed-legged position on the blue lotus pedestal which blossomed from the ground, holds the Vitarka mudra (hand position), and the nimbus around his head and body are highlighted in gold colour. The standing Avalokitesvara carries a kundika and has the nirmana-buddha featured in his crown. The standing Mahasthamaprapta holds a blue lotus and a flask is expressed in his crown. The main colour takes on dark green and reddish hue, partly tinged with navy and yellow tones. Amitabha paintings grew longer in width and featured an increasing number of characters in the late 19th century. It is assumed that this Amitabha painting is from the early 19th century, given the relatively small number of figures, Amitabha’s high ushnisha, and the Bodhisattvas’ calm face and old-style flower crown.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Ink, rice paste colours and metallic pigments on silk
Brief description
Pap, Korea, paintings and drawings
Physical description
The painting was probably originally a hanging scroll which was at some point cut down and framed. It is mounted on Chinese brocade dating to the early 17th century.

The painting depicts the Amitabha Buddha seated in the lotus position on a lotus pedestal, his hands forming the virtaka mudra - on both hands the thumb touches the index finger to form a circle. He is surrounded by a halo and a golden nimbus. To his right in the foreground stands the bodhissatva Mahasthamaprapta holding a blue lotus and to his left, Avalokiteśvara carries a flask (kundika). In the background stand two of the disciples of Sakyamuni: Kasyapa and Ananda.

Dimensions
  • Painting length: 79.8cm
  • Painting width: 78cm
  • Whole length: 99.7cm
  • Whole width: 97.7cm
Height: 79.4 cm (98.3 cm with mount) Width: 78.1971
Style
Production typeUnique
Gallery label
Credit line
Given by Professor Benjamin Rowland
Subjects depicted
Summary
The painting depicts Amitabha Buddha as the central figure flanked by Buddha’s two early disciples (Ananda and Mahakasyapa), and Buddha's attendants (Avalokitesvara and Mahasthamaprapta) with auspicious spirits radiating in five colours in the background. Amitabha sits in a crossed-legged position on the blue lotus pedestal which blossomed from the ground, holds the Vitarka mudra (hand position), and the nimbus around his head and body are highlighted in gold colour. The standing Avalokitesvara carries a kundika and has the nirmana-buddha featured in his crown. The standing Mahasthamaprapta holds a blue lotus and a flask is expressed in his crown. The main colour takes on dark green and reddish hue, partly tinged with navy and yellow tones. Amitabha paintings grew longer in width and featured an increasing number of characters in the late 19th century. It is assumed that this Amitabha painting is from the early 19th century, given the relatively small number of figures, Amitabha’s high ushnisha, and the Bodhisattvas’ calm face and old-style flower crown.
Bibliographic references
  • Beth McKillop. Korean Art and Design. London: V&A, 1992.79
  • Benjamin Rowland Jr. The evolution of the Buddha Image. London: Asia House, New York, 196368
  • National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage. Daejeon: National Research Institue of Cultural Heritage, 2013, p. 276.
Collection
Accession number
FE.108-1970

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Record createdFebruary 3, 2000
Record URL
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