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painting / handscroll / 繪畫

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1919,0101,0.80

  • Description

    Painted handscroll illustrating the apochryphal Ten Kings of Hell Sutra. Five Kings seated behind their desks, with various punishments shown. The Six Ways of Life and a Hell scene follow, and the standing figure of Kṣitigarbha completes the composition. Ink and colours on paper.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 10thC
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 27.8 centimetres
    • Width: 2.4 metres (length)
  • Curator's comments

    Zwalf 1985

    The Dunhuang handscrolls showing the Ten Kings of the Underworld appear late in the iconography of the Bodhisattva Kṣitigarbha. In this fragment five kings are each seated behind a table, attended by the recorders of a person's good and evil deeds and by lictors and gaolers driving the souls before the court. Some souls wear wooden cangues and hand fetters; all have only a loincloth. The virtuous are in 10th-century costume; the men hold bundles of scrolls, the women small Buddha images in token of their meritorious deeds. Kṣitigarbha, dressed as a monk, appears at the end of the scroll, rescuing souls from hell.

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Zwalf 1985 318 bibliographic details
    • Whitfield & Farrer 1990 cat.no.65 bibliographic details
    • Whitfield 2004a fig.98 bibliographic details
    • Stein 1921a p.1087; vol.IV, pls.XCIII and CIII bibliographic details
    • Whitfield 1983 pl.63 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2003 18 Oct-14 Dec, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2004 17 Jan-28 Mar, Kobe City Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2004 10 Apr-13 Jun, Fukuoka Art Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2004 26 Jun-29 Aug, Niigata Bandaijima Art Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2007 8 Feb-5 Aug, BM Gallery 91, 'Gods, Guardians and Immortals: Chinese Religious Paintings'

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Associated places

  • Associated titles

    • Associated Title: Shiwang shengqi jing (Sutra of theTen Kings)
  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1919

  • Acquisition notes

    For full acquisition history, see 1919,0101,0.1.

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    1919,0101,0.80

  • Additional IDs

    • Ch.cii.001 (Stein no.80)
Painted handscroll illustrating the apochryphal Ten Kings of Hell Sutra. Five Kings seated behind their desks, with various punishments shown. The Six Ways of Life and a Hell scene follow, and the standing figure of K?itigarbha completes the composition. Ink and colours on paper.

Detail: Other

Painted handscroll illustrating the apochryphal Ten Kings of Hell Sutra. Five Kings seated behind their desks, with various punishments shown. The Six Ways of Life and a Hell scene follow, and the standing figure of K?itigarbha completes the composition. Ink and colours on paper.

Image description

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