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  • Thumbnail for Painted Bodhisattva on pillar, close-up
    Painted Bodhisattva on pillar, close-up

    The pillars inside this cave display many figures of Buddhist monks as bodhisattvas and buddhas. These monks wear the traditional monastic robe covering one shoulder. The bodhisattva holds the lotus, symbol of enlightenment.

  • Thumbnail for Ellora, Datta Temple, Linga and Nandin
    Ellora, Datta Temple, Linga and Nandin

    On a pillar of the temple, Shiva's bull, Nandin, protects a Shiva Linga.

  • Thumbnail for Crane scroll, part 2
    Crane scroll, part 2 by Sotatsu, Tawaraya , Koetsu, Hon'ami

    See Crane scroll, part 1 (soc000277)

  • Thumbnail for Crane scroll, part 3
    Crane scroll, part 3 by Sotatsu, Tawaraya , Koetsu, Hon'ami

    See Crane scroll, part 1 (soc000277)

  • Thumbnail for Crane scroll, part 4
    Crane scroll, part 4 by Sotatsu, Tawaraya , Koetsu, Hon'ami

    See Crane scroll, part 1 (soc000277)

  • Thumbnail for Battle of Lepanto
    Battle of Lepanto

    As the number of Christians in Japan in the 16th and 17th centuries grew, so did demand for religous paintings from Europe. Because supply far outstripped demand, it became apparent that native artists would have to be trained. Many times the artists were simply shown how to copy the European paintings directly, but in this screen, commonly thought to be a depiction of the Battle of Lepanto, no pictorial prototype appears to have been available. The composition is actually made up of an arbitrary pastiche of themes copied form various sources. The contending forces are the Turks, to the right, and the Christian battalions, tightly grouped to the left, with their logistical advantage, matchlock guns, clearly depicted.- abridged from catalogue entry by Money Hickman.

  • Thumbnail for Horses
    Horses by Sunraku, Kano (1559-1635)

    This pair of ema [votive paintings] were produced by Kano Sunraku, one of the most gifted artists of the late Momoyama and early Edo periods. Admired for their strength and speed and venerated for their innate, resolute spirit, horses have played a conspicious role in Japanese religious practices, ceremonial rites, and warfare since ancient times. Early accounts describe how horses were used in Shinto shrines, where their participation in solemn rituals was thought to be efficacious in precipitating rainfall or, conversely, in discouraging excessive rain and restoring good weather. To carry out these objectives, shrines were equipped with a pair of good animals, one of a dark hue, to cause rain to fall, and a second, with a light coat, to bring back the sun. Horses, in addition to their function in rites intended to affect the weather, had a more basic role as messengers and intermediaries between the temporal world and the Shinto gods. - abridged from catalogue entries by Money Hickman.

  • Thumbnail for Zhao Tomb
    Zhao Tomb

    Wall painting from tomb at Anping in Hebei province, China.

  • Thumbnail for Fourth hall of hell
    Fourth hall of hell

    One of a series of ten hell scrolls. Shows the King of the Five Offices and his henchman as well as several of the hells under his control. Commonly seen in Taiwanese temples. Purchased in the early 1980's in Taiwan.

  • Thumbnail for Teapot with landscape image - front
    Teapot with landscape image - front

    Larger teapot with white glaze and painted landscape scenery of mountains in the distance, pavilion in the foreground.

  • Thumbnail for Life in a village
    Life in a village by Nie Ou, 1948-

    Painted by a female artist who taught herself to paint and who lived in the countryside during the Cultural Revolution.

  • Thumbnail for Shrimp
    Shrimp by Qi Baishi, 1863-1957

    This artist has been called the "Picasso of China." Known for his simple compositions, economy of brush strokes, and bold contrasting colors.

  • Thumbnail for Teapot with landscape image - opposite side
    Teapot with landscape image - opposite side

    This image shows the continuation, or perhaps end, of the landscape image. The borders on the top and bottom are meant to evoke a sense of brocade, with the image then appearing like a ceramic version of a handscroll.

  • Thumbnail for Bamboo
    Bamboo by Wang Qiyuan, 1895-1975

    The artist was born into the family of a Confucian scholar. He departed from traditional painting by using oils in the Western style as well as ink and watercolors. In 1941 he left China for the United States founding a school of Chinese brushwork in New York.

  • Thumbnail for Landscapes and Figures, scholar
    Landscapes and Figures, scholar by Ren Xun

    Finely detailed Chinese painting of a scholar figure by a gnarled tree on the riverbank. The image area is 23.2 cm x 21 cm. The painting is a part of a set of four related paintings by Ren Xun. Ren Xun was the younger brother of Ren Xiong (1820-1864) and his family members were successful commercial painters in Shanghai and nearby regions and skilled in many subjects, including portraiture.

  • Thumbnail for Autumn Leaves and Chrysanthemums, characters
    Autumn Leaves and Chrysanthemums, characters by Jin Dui

    Horizontal Chinese painting; ink and colors on paper; 34.2 cm x 27.3 cm; white chrysanthemums, symbol of 9th month, autumn and fruit blossoms; calligraphy and one seal by artist.

  • Thumbnail for Six-fold Screen, Bird and Flower
    Six-fold Screen, Bird and Flower by Kanô Yoshinobu II (1774-1826)

    67 ¾†x 12’. the Union College Yoshinobu II Screen are a particularly interesting way to understand the differences between Kanô School painting and Ukiyo-e because while the two differed in the late Tokugawa Period (1615-1868), they originally started out much more similar.

  • Thumbnail for Portrait of a Boxer Supporter (detail)
    Portrait of a Boxer Supporter (detail)

    28 1/8/" x 18 15/16". Ink and colors on paper. Detail of head of formal family portrait of Boxer supporter. Shows influence of Western photography on Chinese portraiture.

  • Thumbnail for Bamboo in Dew, Pine in Wind
    Bamboo in Dew, Pine in Wind by Huang Daozhou, Jiao Bingzhen

    This very long handscroll includes an additional series of colophons as well as a title frontispiece. It is historically quite interesting as the artist, Huang Daozhou, was a notable Ming patriot and martyr. His biography is included beside the portrait, which precedes the ink bamboo and pine. The authors of the other colophons praise Huang. The painting Bamboo in Dew, Pine in Wind is preceded by a biography of Huang Daozhou, and a portrait of Huang attributed to Jiao Bingzhen. 103 x 15 1/2 inches. Ink on satin for the painting. The portrait can be seen by clicking on the related record below.

  • Thumbnail for Monkey Clinging to Hillock from an Album of 11 Miniature Sketches)
    Monkey Clinging to Hillock from an Album of 11 Miniature Sketches) by Jin Xiaqi

    These sketches depict animals in landscapes 1) crane by pine and waterfall 2) two horses by stream 3) ox-herder and two oxen crossing a stone bridge 4) dragon cavorting above a frothy sea 5) a pair of peacocks on a riverbank 6) a group of horses in a pasture 7) mandarin ducks in a pond 8) monkey clinging to a hillock 9) white goats on a hillside 10) a pair of white cranes near bamboo 11) three spotted deer, plantain, and rock. Each album leaf is 5 1 /16 x 3 1/2 inches. Ink and colors on silk. To view another image from this album, click on related record below.

  • Thumbnail for Three Friends of Winter
    Three Friends of Winter by Yun Bing

    The subject is not really the three friends since, instead of pine, bamboo, and plum, we have plum, bamboo, two birds, a peony and a rock. The inscription gives Yun Bing, the daughter of Yun Shouping, as the artist, but given the inaccurate descriptive title, the attribution to Yun Bing is debatable. 38 x 16 1/16 inches. Ink and colors on silk.

  • Thumbnail for Rakuchu Rakugai - "In and Around the City of Kyoto" - detail from left side
    Rakuchu Rakugai - "In and Around the City of Kyoto" - detail from left side

    Detail of scene from right screen of an original pair of 6-fold screens; 67" H. x 142" W. (6 panels)The type originated in the Momoyama period, when they were presented to visiting warlords, to take home as a memento of their visit to Kyoto. This particular example is relatively late for the type, but a good example. The iconography for this particular type of screen pairs is set, and this example follows the program for the right hand screen of the original pair, depicting the colorful floats of the Gion Matsuri (Kyoto’s “signature†festival) in LR, and various Kyoto landmarks, like the Kiyomizudera (a temple with a veranda supported on high pilings) in the upper right.

  • Thumbnail for Womb Mandala -  detail of center
    Womb Mandala - detail of center

    49 x 39 inches. The Womb Mandala (J.: Taizokai Mandara) is paired with the Diamond Mandala [J: Kongokai Mandara]. Together the two are known as the Mandalas of the Two Worlds [J: Ryokai Mandara], referring in Esoteric Buddhism of the Shingon Sect to the phenomenal [J: Taizokai] and the transcentdental [J: Kongokai] manifestations of the Cosmic, Universal Buddha[J: Dainichi Nyorai] that is encountered in Esoteric Buddhism. The Cosmic Buddha, Dainichi Nyorai, occupies the center of a red lotus blossom at the heart of the mandala; Buddhas of the four directions and four bodhisattvas associated with each one radiate from him on each of 8 petals. Wrathful manifestations [J: myoo] are below the lotus, and around it are arranged the hundreds of other figures.

  • Thumbnail for Shuji version of the Womb  Mandala
    Shuji version of the Womb Mandala

    16.25 x 14.25 inches. The Womb Mandala (J.: Taizokai Mandara) is the static principle of the cosmos; the matrix of all things, i.e., the material world of physical phenomena, with Dainichi Nyorai, the Cosmic Universal Buddha in the Shingon sect of Esoteric Buddhism occupying the center. In the shuji version of this mandara, Sanskrit characters substitute for the images of Buddhas and other Buddhist deities normally seen on the mandara form. As a pair, this painting is coupled with the Diamond World Mandala [J: Kongokai Mandara] and are the "seed character" (shuji) versions of the Ryokai Mandara, or Mandalas of the Two Worlds. These pairs of mandara are devotional aids in the Shingon sect of Esoteric Buddhism in Japan, emphasizing the phenomenal and the transcendant sides of the Cosmic, Universal Buddha Dainichi Nyorai. The pair of mandalas would be hung in a Shingon temple to provide focal points for contemplation and ritual religious practice, and could also have been used in initiation ceremonies for new initiates into the disciplines of Shingon. The small scale of this shuji pair suggests private devotional usage. These are later examples of a significant type, and the two should always be displayed together, as they would have been hung together in the temple.

  • Thumbnail for The Daimond Mandala - detail of central panel with deities
    The Daimond Mandala - detail of central panel with deities

    The Diamond Mandala (Kongokai Mandara; Skt.: Garbhadhatu Mandala) is paired with the Womb Mandala (Kongokai Mandara; Skt.: Vajradhatu Mandala). Together, the two forms are known as the Ryokai Mandara (or "Mandalas of the Two Worlds"), referring in Esoteric Buddhism of the Shingon sect to the phenomenal (Taizokai) and the transcendental (Kongokai) manifestations of Dainichi Nyorai (the version of the Cosmic, Universal Buddha Roshana [Skt. Vairocana] that is encountered in Esoteric Buddhism).