Japanese / Lakshmi (Kichijoten) / possibly Meiji period (1868-1912)Japanese
Lakshmi (Kichijoten)
possibly Meiji period (1868-1912)

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Japanese
Creator Name-CRT: Japanese
Title: Lakshmi (Kichijoten)
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1868
Creation End Date: 1912
Creation Date: possibly Meiji period (1868-1912)
Creation Place: Japan
Object Type: Paintings
Materials and Techniques: Ink and color on silk
Parts and Pieces: hanging scroll
Dimensions: 46 x 21 3/4 in. (116.8 x 55.2 cm)
AMICA Contributor: Asia Society
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1979.208
Credit Line: Asia Society: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection
Rights: http://www.asiasociety.org
Context: This painting is believed to be a Meiji-period reworking of an earlier style. Lakshmi is worshipped in Buddhism as the goddess of wealth and happiness. In this painting, she stands on a lotus pedestal and holds her right hand in the gesture of reassurance (abhayamudra). The jewel of wisdom, or wish-granting jewel (chintamani), rests in her upturned left palm. Lakshmi wears an elaborate multilayered costume that has been covered with a jacket or shawl, several scarves, and a belt. A fantastic bejeweled and flowered crown is on her head. The clothing and jewelry derive from traditions of Buddhist painting that can be traced back to Chinese and Japanese art of the 8th century. These earlier traditions were revived in Japan during the 13th century, and this painting has been considered an example of the art of the Kamakura period (1185-1333). Several features, however, suggest a later date, in particular, the very detailed, almost fussy treatment of the drapery folds in the sleeves and hemline,the representation of the ends of the fluttering brocade scarves as stiff and static pieces of cloth, and the lack of volume in the figure. The same interest in excessive detail is also seen in the depiction of her crown, which has many more flowers, garlands, and chains than are found in the headgear worn by the goddess in Kamakura-period paintings. The suggestion of a date in the Meiji period (1868-1912) for this piece is based to a large extent on this interest in detailing, which is characteristic ofthe paintings and especially the decorative arts of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It should be acknowledged, however, that the art of the Meiji period is not yet well studied. Moreover, although Meiji-period versions of early works are common, material on them is rarely published, probably because it is assumed that copies are inherently less interesting. This hampers a full analysis of the development of Japanese art during the Meiji period and of the role played by the study and imitation of earlier styles.
Related Document Description: Asia Society. Handbook of the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection. New York: Asia Society, [1981], p. 93.
AMICA ID: ASIA.1979.208
AMICA Library Year: 1999
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, Asia Society

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