Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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大日如来坐像
Dainichi Nyorai

Period:
Heian period (794–1185)
Date:
12th century
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Wood with gold leaf and lacquer decoration
Dimensions:
H. 36 3/8 in. (92.4 cm); W. 27 1/2 in. (69.9 cm); D. 19 5/8 in. (49.8 cm) Figure with base: H. 63 3/4 in. (161.9 cm); W. 38 3/4 in. (98.4 cm); D. 39 1/8 in. (99.4 cm) Total H. 86 in. (218.4 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1926
Accession Number:
26.118
Not on view
As Supreme Buddha of the Cosmos, from which the entire universe emanates, Dainichi Nyorai (Sanskrit: Mahavairocana Tathagata) is the central object of devotion in the esoteric sects of Buddhism. Here, Dainichi appears in a form known as Ichiji Kinrin, or “One-Syllable Golden Wheel,” one of the Five Supreme Buddha Attendants. Dainichi’s hands form the chiken-in, or “wisdom fist” mudra, with the left index finger surrounded by the fingers of the right hand. This gesture has the power to restrain the passions that hinder enlightenment and expresses the union of the spiritual and material realms of being. The graceful proportions of the sculpture were made possible by the fact that it was carved and assembled in sections (yosegi-zukuri), a technique that began in the late Heian period. In its original gilt form the sculpture embodied the name by which Dainichi is most commonly known in East Asia: Supreme Buddha of the Great Illumination.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Resonant Image: Tradition in Japanese Art (Part Two)," April 27, 1998–September 27, 1998.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Japan," 1998.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Birds, Flowers, and Buddhist Paradise Imagery in Japanese Art," February 14, 2004–June 13, 2004.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Sensitivity to the Seasons: Autumn and Winter," June 22, 2006–September 10, 2006.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "No Ordinary Mortals: The Human Figure in Japanese Art," 2007–2008.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Ukiyo-e Artists' Responses to Romantic Legends of Two Brothers: Narihira and Yukihira," March 27, 2008–June 8, 2008.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Animals, Birds, Insects, and Marine Life in Japanese Art," June 26, 2008–November 30, 2008.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Poetry and Travel in Japanese Art," December 18, 2008–May 31, 2009.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Japanese Mandalas: Emanations and Avatars," June 18, 2009–November 30, 2009.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Landscapes in Japanese Art," June 24, 2010–November 7, 2010.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Beautiful Country: Yamato-e in Japanese Art," November 20, 2010–June 5, 2011.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Celebrating the Arts of Japan: The Mary Griggs Burke Collection," October 20, 2015–January 22, 2017.

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