Book Cover with Buddhist Deities

Book Cover with Buddhist Deities
Place Made:
15th century
Painted and gilded wood 
10-5/8 x 27-7/8 in. (27.0 x 70.8 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Art Foundation, from the Estate of Jennifer Jones Simon 
Accession Number:
© Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Not on View

Buddhist manuscripts are usually provided with elaborate wooden covers, following the horizontal layout of the pages. Often, they are carved in various degrees of relief with figures, animals and foliage patterns. The central figure in this cover is crowned and bejewelled like a bodhisattva and may be tentatively identified as Amitabha. The two figures flanking him wear monastic robes and are seated in the contemplative earth touching gesture, which can be identified with Akshobhya as well as Shakyamuni. The wide register surrounding the figures is decorated with stylized vegetal and floral motifs.

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