S O L D
Highly Important Sculpture Aizen
A Highly Important Wood Sculpture of Aizen Myoo (Ragaraja).
High 96 cm , Wide 56 cm , Deep 51 cm .
Edo period, Japan
P R O V E N A N C E:
Former property from the collection of Anthony M. Kurland Jr of Maine. Archaeologist with degree from Yale and PhD from Harvard. Ex Society of the Cincinnati Museum Collection
Highly Important Sculpture Aizen, a carved and polychrome-painted figure of the Buddhist deity Ragaraja, depicted with three crystal inlaid eyes and six arms, holding various elements, seated in full lotus position atop a lotus-form base on a stepped octagonal giltwood plinth.
Aizen is one of the five Myō-ō (Sanskrit: Vidyarajas), ‘Kings of Light’, personified spells and protectors of the esoteric Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism, whose principal deity, Dainichi Nyōrai (Mahavairacana), is the Buddha from whom boundless light emanates. Aizen has an open mouth, with protruding fangs and a lion-head crown with five pointed vajra hook, He has six arms, each holding one of his attributes: his lower pair of hands holds the bell of awakening and the vajra of quelling, the implements that represent respectively the female or Womb World Mandala and the male or Diamond World Mandala. His middle pair of hands holds a bow and arrow, the weapons of Indian god of love, Kamadeva. His upper hand brandishes a lotus flower that brushes aside all obstacles and his left is raised in a fist grasping the desired outcome of the rite.
Cf. a related Aizen Myoo (Ragaraja), created in the 13th century, is classified as an Important Cultural Property and is in the collection of the Nara National Museum
Cf. a related Aizen Myoo (Ragaraja) in the British Museum (inventory no. 1885,1227.27).