Bodhisattva and Dark-skinned Figure

Historical period(s)
Song dynasty, 10th century, circa 952
Medium
Ink and colors on primed mud-wall construction
Dimensions
H x W: 175.6 x 85.5 cm (69 1/8 x 33 11/16 in) Weight: 127005.7 grams (4480 oz)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Accession Number
S1987.224
On View Location
Sackler Gallery 22: Encountering the Buddha
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Wall painting

Keywords
bodhisattva, Buddhism, China, halo, Song dynasty (960 - 1279), WWII-era provenance
Provenance

Possibly originally located in the Kuan-Yin Temple of Yu Vouen-sang, Henan province, China [1]

From 1923 to at least 1949
C.T. Loo & Company, Paris and New York, 1923 [2]

From at least 1972 to 1987
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987), New York, from at least 1972 [3]

From 1987
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Arthur M. Sackler, on September 11, 1987 [4]

Notes:

[1] A related painting in the Honolulu Academy of Arts’ collection (acc. no. 2692) supposedly came from the Kuan-Yin Temple of Yu Vouen-sang, Henan province. This information is based on notes on the original registrar card. In an article published in 1928, Osvald Sirén stated that the provenance of these wall paintings was said to be Yu Vouen-sang but he noted that “this information may or may not be correct,” see Osvald Sirén, “The Chinese Pavilion of C. T. Loo & Co. and Its Fresco Paintings,” Pantheon (November 1928), pp. 548-549.

[2] In his introduction to Chinese Frescoes of Northern Sung, exh. cat. (New York: C. T. Loo, Inc., 1949), C. T. Loo described the circumstances of acquisition of the exhibited wall paintings, including Bodhisattva and Dark-skinned Figure (exhibited under cat. 14). According to this account, during his visit to China in 1923 Loo received information from his supplier about wall-paintings’ fragments in a ruined temple somewhere near the Henan-Shanxi border. After negotiations with local authorities, the wall paintings were removed from the debris and Loo transferred them to Paris. See Laurence Sickman, “An Early Chinese Wall-Painting Newly Discovered,” Artibus Asiae vol. 15, no. 1/2 (1952), pp. 137-144. By 1928 the paintings were installed in Loo’s gallery in Paris, see Osvald Sirén, “The Chinese Pavilion of C. T. Loo & Co. and Its Fresco Paintings,” Pantheon (November 1928), pp. 544-552. According to Sickman, they were brought to New York in 1948.

[3] The painting was accessioned to Arthur M. Sackler’s collection in 1972.

[4] Pursuant to the agreement between Arthur M. Sackler and the Smithsonian Institution, dated July 28, 1982, legal title of the donated objects was transferred to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery on September 11, 1987.

Previous Owner(s)

Dr. Arthur M. Sackler 1913-1987
C.T. Loo & Company active 1915-1962

Published References
  • Chinese Frescoes of Northern Sung. New York. cat. 14.
  • Paths to Perfection, Buddhist Art at the Freer/Sackler. Washington, D.C. pp. 84-85.
  • et al. Asian Art in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery: The Inaugural Gift. Washington, 1987. cat. 189, pp. 284-285.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum