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92 Items in this Learning Collection

Copyright
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The Deva Idaten

Accession Number
2003/1.391

Title
The Deva Idaten

Artist(s)
Yamawaki Tôki

Object Creation Date
circa 1800-1839

Medium & Support
ink, color and gold on silk

Dimensions
45 1/16 in. x 12 3/4 in. ( 114.5 cm x 32.4 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of Helmut Stern

Label copy
With the decline in prestige and economic clout of the Buddhist establishment in Edo-period Japan, patronage for Buddhist painting fell off sharply. The Kyoto artist Ki no Hironari (who also went by the name Yamawaki Tôki) managed to counter this trend by cultivating a clientele among a small group of conservative court nobles. Trained by the naturalist painter Matsumura Goshun, Hironari applied his considerable representational skills to both Buddhist and classical figure subjects.
The deity depicted here, Idaten, is a Buddhist adaptation of Skanda, a Hindu warrior god who was the son of Shiva. According to the Sutra of Golden Light, a demon stole the Buddha’s ashes, and it was Idaten who chased him to the summit of Mount Meru to retrieve the sacred relics. Idaten is thus associated with extraordinary speed and came to be regarded as a protector of monasteries and monks, as well as warding off fire and theft. Hironari himself lived a monk-like existence in the western suburbs of Kyoto, and this work may have had personal significance for him.
Maribeth Graybill, Recent Acquisitions of East Asian Art, November 5, 2005-May 14, 2006
(Japanese Gallery Rotations, Spring 2009)

Subject matter
The deity depicted here, Idaten, is a Buddhist adaptation of Skanda, a Hindu warrior god who was the son of Shiva. According to the Sutra of Golden Light, a demon stole the Buddha’s ashes, and it was Idaten who chased him to the summit of Mount Meru to retrieve the sacred relics. Idaten is thus associated with extraordinary speed and came to be regarded as a protector of monasteries and monks, as well as warding off fire and theft. Hironari himself lived a monk-like existence in the western suburbs of Kyoto, and this work may have had personal significance for him.

Physical Description
Idaten is depicted here, fierce, standing on clouds. His garments blow in the breeze, and a halo showing his power and godliness encircles his head.

Primary Object Classification
Painting

Primary Object Type
hanging scroll

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
clouds
hanging scrolls
moons

5 Related Resources

Celestial bodies
(Part of: Natural World)
Ink and Realisms
(Part of: Artist Associations and Art Movements)
Japan Pax Tokugawa 1600-1868
(Part of: Empires and Colonialism)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved