Kamakura: Realism and Spirituality in the Sculpture of Japan at Asia Society Museum, February 9 – May 8, 2016

“The magnificent sculpture of the Kamakura period (1185–1333) has long been considered a high point in the history of Japanese art. Stylistic and technical innovations led to sculpture that displayed greater realism than ever before. Sculptors began signing their works, allowing us to trace the development of individual and workshop styles that influenced later generations for centuries. Religious developments—often combinations of traditional and new practices—brought devotees into closer proximity with the deities they worshipped.”— Asia Society Museum

07 Head of a Guardian King

Head of a Guardian King, Kamakura period, 13th century. Polychromed Japanese cypress (hinoki) with lacquer on cloth, inlaid rock crystal eyes, and filigree metal crown. H. 22 1⁄16 x W. 10¼ x D. 13 15⁄16 in. (56 x 26 x 35.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alastair B. Martin, the Guennol Collection. Image courtesy of Brooklyn Museum

01 Fudo Myoo

Kaikei (active ca. 1183–1223). Fudõ Myõõ, Kamakura period, early 13th century. Lacquered, polychromed, and gilded Japanese cypress (hinoki) with cut gold leaf (kirikane) and inlaid crystal eyes. H. 21½ x W. 16¾ x D. 15 in. (54.6 x 42.5 x 38.1 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Mary Griggs Burke Collection, Gift of the Mary and Jackson Burke Foundation, 2015. Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY

03 Jizo Bosatsu

Zen’en (1197–1258). Jizõ Bosatsu, Kamakura period, ca. 1225–26. Japanese cypress (hinoki) with cut gold leaf and traces of pigment, inlaid crystal eyes, and bronze staff with attachments. H. 22¾ x W. 9½ x D. 9½ in. (57.8 x 24.1 x 24.1 cm). Asia Society, New York: Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection. Photography by Synthescape, courtesy of Asia Society

12 Bishamonten

Circle of Higo Busshi Jõkei (born 1184–died after 1256). Bishamonten, Kamakura period, first half of 13th century. Polychromed and gilded Japanese cypress (hinoki) with cut gold leaf (kirikane) with inlaid crystal eyes and gilt-metal ornaments. H. 18 13⁄16 x W. 9 x D. 6 9⁄16 in. (47.8 x 22.9 x 16.7 cm). The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Mary Griggs Burke Collection, Gift of the Mary and Jackson Burke Foundation. Photo: Minneapolis Institute of Art

06 Hachiman

Kõshun (active ca. 1315–1328, possibly through 1359). The Shinto deity Hachiman in the guise of a Buddhist monk, Kamakura period, dated 1328. Polychromed Japanese cypress (hinoki) with inlaid crystal eyes. H. 32 x W. 36¾ x D. 24 in. (81.3 x 93.3 x 61 cm). Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Maria Antoinette Evans Fund and Contributions. Photograph © 2016 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

08 Gushojin

Gushõjin, Kamakura period, 13th century. Wood with traces of pigment. H. 18 3⁄8 x W. 10¼ x D. 4¾ in. (46.6 x 26 x 12.1 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975. Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY

10 Seated Monju Bosatsu

Seated Monju Bosatsu, Kamakura period, early 14th century. Japanese cypress (hinoki), with inlaid glass eyes. H. 14 5⁄8 x W. 11 3⁄8 x D. 8¼ in. (37.1 x 28.9 x 21 cm). Philadelphia Museum of Art: Purchased with the Katharine Levin Farrell Fund, the Haney Foundation Fund, the Margaretta S. Hinchman Fund, the Bloomfield Moore Fund, the John T. Morris Fund, the Edgar Viguers Seeler Fund, the George W. B. Taylor Fund, and with funds contributed by Mrs. Rodolphe Meyer de Schauensee, 1979. Image Courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art

05 Zao Gongen

Zaõ Gongen, Kamakura period, 13th century. Iron. H. 12½ x W. 6½ x D. 3¾ in. (31.8 x 16.5 x 9.5 cm). John C. Weber Collection. Photography by John Bigelow Taylor

04 Daiitoku Myoo

Daiitoku Myõõ (Wisdom King of Awe-Inspiring Power), Kamakura period, second half of 13th century. Wood with metal, polychrome, gilding, and inlaid crystal eyes. H. 51½ x W. 25¼ x D. 36 in. (130.8 x 64.1 x 91.4 cm). The Minneapolis Institute of Art: Gift of the Clark Center for Japanese Art & Culture; formerly given to the Center in 2000 in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Sherman Lee by the Clark Family in appreciation of the Lees’ friendship and help over many years

11 Bishamonten

Bishamonten, Kamakura period, late 12th century. Wood with metal, cut gold leaf (kirikane), and polychrome. H. 23 x W. 9½ x D. 8 in. (58.4 x 24.1 x 20.3 cm). The Minneapolis Institute of Arts: The John R. Van Derlip Fund; purchase from the collection of Elizabeth and Willard Clark. Photo: Minneapolis Institute of Art

09 Nyoirin Kannon

Nyoirin Kannon, Kamakura period, early 14th century. Japanese cypress (hinoki) with pigment, gold powder, and cut gold leaf (kirikane). H. 19½ x W. 15 x D. 12 in. (49.5 x 38.1 x 30.5 cm). Asia Society, New York: Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection. Photography by Synthescape, courtesy of Asia Society

02 Shotoku Taishi

Standing Shõtoku Taishi at age two (Namubutsu Taishi), Kamakura period, late 13th–14th century. Lacquered and painted wood with inlaid rock crystal eyes. H. 27 x W. 9 x D. 10 in. (68.6 x 22.9 x 25.4 cm). Larry Ellison Collection Photography by Megumi Isobe, Image courtesy of the Larry Ellison Collection

34.119_01c

Flying Attendant on Cloud, Kamakura period, late 12th–early 13th century. Gilded wood. H. 37 x W. 21 x D. 4 5⁄16 in. (94 x 53.4 x 11 cm). Seattle Art Museum, Eugene Fuller Memorial Collection. Image courtesy of Seattle Art Museum

14 Descent of Amida Buddha

Descent of Amida Buddha with Twenty-five Bodhisattvas (Amida Nijugobosatsu Raigo-zu), Kamakura, Nanbokucho period, 14th century. Ink, color, and gold on silk. Image: H. 47½ x W. 34 1⁄16 in. (120.7 x 86.5 cm); overall: H. 87 13⁄16 x W. 41 15⁄16 in. (223 x 106.5 cm). Seattle Art Museum: Eugene Fuller Memorial Collection. Image courtesy of Seattle Art Museum

Exhibition images courtesy Asia Society Museum. Installation photo by Corrado Serra for Arts Summary