Things are Happening

It is a bit premature to spill the full details about the whats happening, but I will let you piece together some possibilities on your own. Needless to say I am excited. This sudden euphoria is also is due in part because I have never physically seen our largest piece in the collection… this 10 x 9, 18th century Korean tapestry. As we get these cogs moving I will share what I can, when I can.

For now here is an overview of what you are looking at:

Possibly circa 1730 tapestry depicting the central figure of Buddha seated dhyanasana on a raised dias and backed by a double nimbus. Wearing monastic robes, he positions his hands in bhumisparsa* and dhyana mudra. He is flanked by two elaborately costumed and bejeweled bodhisattva, probably Avalokitesvara and Mañjusri. Standing in the background are attendant Buddhas. Seated in front are two figures in monastic garb. The figure in brown robes to the right is the Arhat Añgaja (Yin-chie-the Tsun-chê), one of the Buddha’s original eighteen disciples. The figure on the left is unidentified.

* The bhumisparsa (Earth-touching) mudra identifies the figure as the Historical Buddha, Sakyamuni, at the moment he reaches Enlightenment and touches the earth to announce the event.

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2 thoughts on “Things are Happening

  1. What are the circumstances surrounding the sudden appearance of the tapestry? Was it out for cleaning? And what are the deets on the photo of you with some (I’ll assume, for giggles) Korean gentlemen? Did they visit the Herm just to see the tapestry? Questions, questions…

    • The piece was purchased by Mrs. Sloane in 1944 for the whopping price of $450.00. It was originally to be sold for $6000.00 by Yamanaka and Co. but due to World War II his business was seized and it was sent to another gallery in NYC. There it was significantly marked down in price. Mrs. Sloane loaned it to the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences (Chrysler today) in 1954. It was returned to the Hermitage in 1973 and has been here since. Given its size and condition it can’t be put on display.

      In regards to who the people are and why they are here it is a bit early for me to elaborate. Look for an answer in September.

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