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Book Cover with Buddhist Deities, 15th century

Tibet, 1400-1499
Painted and gilded wood
10-5/8 x 27-7/8 in. (27.0 x 70.8 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation, from the Estate of Jennifer Jones Simon
M.2010.1.209.S
© 2012 Norton Simon Art Foundation

Not on view

Buddhist manuscripts are usually provided with elaborate wooden covers, following the horizontal layout of the pages. Often, they are carved in various degrees of relief with figures, animals and foliage patterns. The central figure in this cover is crowned and bejewelled like a bodhisattva and may be tentatively identified as Amitabha. The two figures flanking him wear monastic robes and are seated in the contemplative earth touching gesture, which can be identified with Akshobhya as well as Shakyamuni. The wide register surrounding the figures is decorated with stylized vegetal and floral motifs.


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