Height: 1050.000 mm
Width: 515.000 mm
Asia JA JP ADD370 (1961.4-8.01)
Hanging scroll painting with a portrait of the young Prince Shōtoku Taishi
Kamakura period, early 14th century AD
An early champion of Japanese Buddhism
Prince Shōtoku Taishi (AD 574-622, crown prince and regent to the Empress Suiko from 593) was one of the outstanding figures of ancient Japanese history. An important political and cultural leader, he was instrumental in the establishment of Buddhism in Japan. He showed his piety by making copies of the scriptures and founding several major temples, including Hōryūji near Nara.
During the Kamakura
period (1185-1333), over five hundred years after Prince
Shōtoku's death, there was a reaction against the
Here he is shown as a 16-year-old youth holding an incense censer and praying for the recovery of his sick father, the Emperor Yōmei (reigned 585-87). At his feet sit two smaller figures in the court dress of the Kamakura period. The round, rather expressionless face is in the Heian tradition, but the sombre richness of the colouring is typical of painting of the Kamakura period.
L. Smith, V. Harris and T. Clark, Japanese art: masterpieces in (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)
W. Zwalf (ed.), Buddhism: art and faith (London, The British Museum Press, 1985)