Amitabha Sutra.

Accession number: 
MS W.69
Amitabha Sutra.
China, ca. 1775.
Covers of grey silk brocade decorated with a repeating geometric pattern in black and colors: yellow, magenta, green, blue, pink. In cloth box lined in green velvet with leather spine, gold tooled, labeled: Amitabha Sutra 1775, by JPW in 1960.
Bequest of Julia Parker Wightman, 1994.
23 leaves (1 column, 8 lines), bound : paper, ill. ; 305 x 190 mm
Purchased by Julia Parker Wightman in 1959; JPW 4194; Julia Parker Wightman Bequest in 1994.

Ms. amitabha sutra (collection of aphorisms); written and illuminated in China, ca. 1775.
Written in liquid gold in Chinese ideographs.
Decoration: 22 highly colored miniatures on pipal leaves from the sacred Bodhi tree (ficus religiosa) depicting Buddhist deities.
Each page has pasted at center a rectangle 245 x 155 mm of thin paper painted in opaque deep blue gouache, framed with strips of butter-yellow silk brocade. At each opening the left-hand page (verso) is written in liquid gold with 8 lines of 4 Chinese ideographs each, 32 in total. To the lower half of the righthand page (recto) is glued a small pipal leaf, on each of which is painted a Buddhist deity, represented reading or contemplating, and often accompanied by an animal. The shape of each leaf was cut out from the lower half of a blue-painted paper rectangle, which was then pasted down to the page, forming a background for the leaf which was then pasted down into the voided space, and the page was then framed with the yellow brocade strips.
The heavy paper support leaves are folded and joined in accordion style.
Textiles: silk brocade frames for inner pages; silk brocade covers.