Indra (Japanese: Taishakuten)

 
Artist
Creation date
Period
Kamakura
Materials
ink and color on silk
Dimensions
48 3/4 x 16 3/16 in. (image) 75 1/4 x 17 3/8 in. (overall) W: 19 1/8 in. (w/knobs) H: 3/4 in. (hanging cord)
Credit line
Dr. Kenneth R. Shaffer Fund
Accession number
2012.64
Collection
Not Currently On View

帝釈天

Despite his calm, noble expression, Taishakuten, Buddhist guardian of the east, is also the Hindu god of war and thunderstorms, known as Indra. He wears courtly garb and a resplendent crown and is backed by a flaming mandorla (halo). In his right hand he holds a vajra thunderbolt—derived from a weapon and symbolizing the indestructibility of the Buddhist Law. His left hand holds a mirror, which symbolizes the delusion of mistaking reflection for reality. Once Taishakuten converted to Buddhism, he became one of its greatest protectors.

Private U.S. collection; (Kaikodo, New York, New York); purchased by the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2012.
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