Extremely Rare Portrait Sculpture < >

Extremely Rare Portrait Sculpture

Japanese wood, gesso and lacquer portrait sculpture of a Jodo Shin sect (True Pure Land sect) monk. Muromachi to Momoyama Period, ca. 1500-50. Although this carving has many characteristics of the animation of Kamakura portrait sculpture, we believe it to be of a later period. (Cannot find a signature, nor have we disassembled it to look for reliquaries.). The realism is indicative of the superior quality of the artist's ability, enhanced by a finely carved facial expression and inlaid crystal eyes. The right hand held a rosary and the left probably a sceptre. (Both pieces replaced.) Colors: natural flesh tones. Red and beige and gray robes (kesa). The Jodo Shin followers believed if salvation depended solely on Amitabha's grace, then one's state in life had no bearing on ultimate salvation. Followers should identify with the ordinary man as much as possible, that monastic discipline was not essential to salvation, and that the family, not the monastery, should be the center of religious life. On the lower lip of the monk is a steel dowel which originally held the figures of Amitabha representative of the six-character chant of Nembutsu (see cover photo of "Japanese Portrait Sculpture" by Hisashi Mori, Japanese Arts Library). The doctrine of the Shingon sect fell out of favor among the Syoto aristocracy and its followers, during the late Heian/early Kamakura Periods (11th/12th Centuries), turned to pure land teachings. Bibliography: "Orientations Magazine", vol. 22, no. 9, September, 1991 "One Thousand Years of Japanese Art," Cleveland Museum of Art; Japan Society, Inc. 1981 "Japanese Portrait Sculpture," by Hisashi Mori, Kodansha International Ltd. And Shibundo, 1977. PRICE UPON REQUEST

34" h x 29" w x 23" d
86.4cm h x 73.7cm w x 58.4cm d
Item #
Price Range

Price Range
  • $0-$5,000
  • $5,001-$10,000
  • $10,001-$25,000
  • $25,001-$50,000
  • $50,001-$100,000
  • over $100,000