London, South Kensington
13 June 2002
A Taima Mandara scroll painting
Early Edo Period (17th century)
painted in ink, colours and gilt on paper, showing Amida Buddha flanked by the Bodhisattvas Kannon and Seishi, in the foreground a stage with musical performers, to left and right a multitude of deities and devotees, in a pond below Amida believers being reborn in paradise and born aloft on lotuses and vessels, all before palace buildings, hosts of heavenly beings on clouds to the top, the left and right borders with panels telling various tales, the lower border with a row of captioned panels showing the nine possible degrees of birth in Paradise -- 30¾in. x 28½in. (78cms x 72.5cms), (damages, tears and repairs).
The Taima Mandara, the principal religious icon of the Jodo sect of Buddhism, founded in the 12th century by Honen, was originally modelled on a supposedly 8th century tapestry preserved in the Taimadera Temple to the South of the old city of Nara.
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