Amitabha in Sukhavati Pure Land

Title: Amitabha in Sukhavati Pure Land

Period: Late 19th Century

Location: Central Tibet, Lhasa

Medium: Mineral pigments on sized cotton; Chinese Qing brocade frame, silk dustcover and ribbons; chased silver caps

Dimensions: H x W (overall): 127 x 66 cm (50 x 26 in) H x W (painting): 61 x 38.1 cm (24 x 15 in)

Repository: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington, D.C.

The painting is one of four in a series housed at Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C. The central figure is Amitayus, also known as Amitabha, the Buddha of eternal life. The Buddha is at Sukhavati, the western part of the pure land surrounded by other multicolored buddhas. The palace behind the buddha is gated by the border, might they be waiting for those who have ascended into the pure land? Or are they protecting the pure land? Along with the palace, we can identify the place as pure land by the trees adorned with jewels. As a beautiful space, it becomes a space to work towards enlightenment. The painting has 3 patterned borders of cloth surrounding the painting, with a distinctive patch at the top. The two figures who are floating on the corner of the painting are two of the main figure in the series.


Author: Isma Mora

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