Nyoirin Kannon

Historical period(s)
Heian period, 12th century
Ink, color, silver, and gold on silk
H x W (image): 78.1 × 40.9 cm (30 3/4 × 16 1/8 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

bodhisattva, Buddhism, dharmachakra, Heian period (794 - 1185), Japan, kakemono
Provenance research underway.

This icon is one of two of the earliest known Japanese paintings featuring this compassionate deity. The power of the jewel (nyoi hoju) and the sacred wheel, held in two of his six hands, allows Nyoirin Kannon to respond to prayers and relieve suffering.  The waves surrounding his image refer to Nyoirin Kannon's abode on Mt. Potalaka in the sea south of India.

Published References
  • Butsuga Ruijyuu. vol. 1, Japan. .
  • Kasetto Nihon no bi. 18 vols., Tokyo. vol. 12: pls. 34-35.
  • Zaigai hiho [(Japanese Paintings in Western Collections]. 3 vols., Tokyo. vol. 2: pt. I and pt. II, p. 25, pl. 10.
  • Nihon bijutsu taikei [The Great Art of Japan]. 11 vols., Tokyo, 1959-1961. vol. 3: p. 101, pl. 73.
  • Mayuyama Junkichi. Japanese Art in the West. Tokyo. pl. 69.
  • Genshoku Nihon no Bijutsu [A Kaleidoscope of Japanese Art]. 30 vols., Tokyo, 1966-1980. vol. 27: pl. 6.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Thomas Lawton, Harold P. Stern. The Freer Gallery of Art. 2 vols., Washington and Tokyo, 1971-1972. cat. 4, vol. 2: p. 153.
  • Cyuko Sakal. Art III., April 2005. p. 17.
  • H. Batterson Boger. The Traditional Arts of Japan: A Complete Illustrated Guide. Garden City. p. 29.
  • Masterpieces of Chinese and Japanese Art: Freer Gallery of Art handbook. Washington, 1976. p. 94.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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