Heaven and Hell in Japanese Art

Culturekiosque.com, July 28, 2010

Boston, MA (USA) -- Japanese images of heaven and hell range from depictions of serene paradises to grotesque realms of punishment.

<< Enma, the Lord of the Realm of Death, forces a courtesan to look into his mirror, which will expose her past deeds

Heaven, situated in a land of bliss where devotees are reborn to reside with Amida, the Buddha of Infinite Light, is typically represented by luxurious palaces, jeweled trees, and tranquil ponds.

Hell, with scenes of fire, torture, and suffering, is the destination awaiting those who fail to follow the sacred precepts of Buddhism.

The concepts of the afterlife are derived from ancient Buddhist scriptures, and they have impacted morality, spirituality, and behavior up until the present day.

Heaven and Hell in Japanese Art features several Edo-period (1615?1868) Buddhist paintings that have rarely been exhibited. It also highlights a recent loan of a monumental 18th-century sculpture of Amida and his atttendants descending on swirling clouds to the faithful.

If you go:

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS  •  Museum of Fine Arts, Boston  • 14 August 2010 - 1 May 2011
Contact:  Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Avenue of the Arts
465 Huntington Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts 02115-5597
Tel: ( 1) 617 267 93 00