Japan, Heian Period (794-1185) / Buddhist Tabernacle / late 1100sJapan, Heian Period (794-1185)
Buddhist Tabernacle
late 1100s

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Japanese
Creator Name-CRT: Japan, Heian Period (794-1185)
Title: Buddhist Tabernacle
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1175
Creation End Date: 1200
Creation Date: late 1100s
Creation Place: Syria
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Lacquer
Materials and Techniques: black lacquer over a wood core with hemp cloth covering, gold paint, cut gold leaf, ink, mineral pigments, and metalwork
Dimensions: Overall: 160cm, Painted surface: 100.5cm x 39cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1969.130
Credit Line: John L. Severance Fund
Rights: http://www.clemusart.com/museum/disclaim2.html
Provenance: (Shogoro Yabumoto)
Style or Period: Heian Period (794-1185)
Context: This imposing lacquer shrine (zushi) never housed a carved sculptural icon, but was made to hold hundreds of handwritten religious texts (sutras). Thus, instead of a religious deity sculpted in human form, Buddhist worshippers viewed something more spiritually pure: handwritten holy texts offering the promise of redemption. This zushi and its mate in the Nara National Museum each held 300 volumes, divided into three bundles of handscrolls. Standing on end with a cord binding them in a circular form, the bundles were placed on shelves (now lost) within the shrines. These lacquer shrines are unique in the history of Japanese art. The entire structure is composed of carefully carved and fitted wood sections that were covered with a layer of hemp cloth and then coated with layers of clear lacquer. Then brown- and black-pigmented layers were added, followed by gold paint, cut gold leaf (kirikane), black ink, and mineral pigments for the images of guardian figures on the two door panels and the designs on the interior wall. The lotus-shaped canopy set high up inside the zushi still retains its original colors and cut gold leaf designs.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1969.130
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

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