Lot 147
A Large Japanese Painting of the Death of the Buddha Nehan-zu 涅槃図
Lot Details & Additional Photographs
Edo period (1615-1868), dated to reverse 1756, ink, colors and gold on paper, with original brocade silk mounting, mixed metal decorated rollers with lotus blossoms, the painting with traditional iconography of sadden animals and deities mourning by the passing of the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni, includes many fantastic details, very finely painted, with a vertical inscription to center and another inscription to the lower left corner, as well as multiple inscriptions to the reverse of the mounting, comes together with a copy of an appraisal by Frank Caro dated 1978.

Overall 98 x 52 1/2 in., Image 68 x 45 in.

The Buddha Shakyamuni is said to have died and entered nirvana on the fifteenth day of the second lunar month, which translates to March 15, and Japanese temples throughout Japan celebrate this day by unrolling and displaying large iconic paintings immersing the visitor into the moment. This large painting dating to the Edo period is an excellent example of theme showing the Buddha lying on his side under a sal tree, now released from the cycle of death, rebirth, and suffering, surrounded by a myriad of mourning gods, deities, mortals, and animals in a forest with waves behind and billowing clouds and moon above.

A similar painting from the Edo period sold at Bonhams, Hong Kong, Lot 1037, December 2, 2021. Death of the Buddha paintings from the 18th century can also be found in the collections of the MFA, Boston, The British Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Original silk brocade mounting now very worn and torn with separation in areas. especially at top portion; the top wooden hanger is separated from rest of mounting; heavy metal rollers incised with decoration; paper with some creasing and breaks, some vertical towards lower center and some horizontal towards upper portion of painting; some wear to painting and loss to paper; needs to be remounted.

$3,000 - 5,000