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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Unknown Artist
Traditionally attributed to Tosa Ryō-en, Japanese (13th c. - )
Welcoming Descent of Amitâbha Buddha (Amida Nyorai) flanked by the Bodhisattvas Avalokiteshvara (Kannon Bosatsu) and Mahâsthâmaprâpta (Seishi Bosatsu); Amida sanzon raigō zu
Other Titles
Transliterated Title: Amida sanzon raigō zu: Amida Nyorai (Amitâbha), Kannon Bosatsu (Avalokitesvara), Seishi Bosatsu (Mahâsthâmaprâpta)
Work Type
hanging scroll, painting
14th century
Creation Place: East Asia, Japan
Nambokuchō period, 1333-1392
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Hanging scroll; gold ink, cut-gold leaf (kirikane), and color on indigo dyed silk
painting proper: H. 98.7 x W. 38.7 cm (38 7/8 x 15 1/4 in.)
mounting, inlcuding suspension core and roller ends: H. 194.9 x W. 61.5 cm (76 3/4 x 24 3/16 in.)


Recorded Ownership History
Louis V. Ledoux Collection, New York (by 1948), by descent; to his son L. Pierre Ledoux, New York (1948-2001), by inheritance; to his widow Joan F. Ledoux, New York, (2001-2013), gift; to Harvard Art Museums, 2013.

1. Louis V. Ledoux (1880-1948)
2. L. Pierre Ledoux (1912-2001)
3. On long term loan to Harvard Art Museums from 1981 to 2013.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, The Louis V. Ledoux Collection; Gift of Mrs. L. Pierre Ledoux in memory of her husband
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art

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This hanging scroll depicts a standing Buddha Amitabha (Jp. Amida Nyorai) at center with magnificent golden rays of light emanating from his halo, accompanied by two attendant bodhisattvas: Avalokitesvara (Jp. Kannon Bosatsu) at the viewer’s right and Mahasthamaprapta (Jp. Seishi Bosatsu) at the left. Each figure stands facing the right in three-quarter view; each is perched atop a pair of lotuses held aloft by clouds that carry the deities in a slight downward direction, from upper left to lower right. Painted predominantly in gold pigment on dyed silk, with just a few touches of ink and color to highlight facial accents on the Buddha and the bodhisattvas' jewels and scarves, the scene illustrates a raigō, or “welcoming descent” scene in which Amitabha descends from his celestial realm in order to receive the soul of a devotee and transport it to the Western Pure Land—a distant paradise believed to provide the ideal conditions for attaining enlightenment. The resplendent but empty lotus seat carried by Avalokitesvara in the lower right of this painting is the vehicle intended to carry the soul of the believer to the Western Pure Land.

Exhibition History

  • 32Q: 2740 Buddhist II, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 06/02/2016 - 11/15/2016; Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 07/23/2022 - 12/12/2022

Verification Level

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