Buddhist Triad

Artist/maker unknown, Japanese

Made in Japan, Asia

Muromachi Period (1392-1573)


Ink and colors on silk; mounted as a hanging scroll

Painting: 60 5/8 × 41 1/2 inches (154 × 105.4 cm) Mount: 100 × 52 1/2 inches (254 × 133.4 cm)

Curatorial Department:
East Asian Art

Object Location:

* Gallery 242, Asian Art, second floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Samuel Bettle, 1928

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This monumental painting depicts the historical Shaka Buddha, or Shakyamuni, seated on a lotus throne. He is accompanied by the bodhisattvas (enlightened beings) Fugen and Monju, who embody wisdom and benevolence, respectively. On the right side of the Buddha, Fugen rides a six-tusked white elephant, with the tusks symbolizing the six senses and its body’s white color representing purity. On the left side, Monju rides a spirited guardian lion. Together with their powerful animal companions, the two bodhisattvas attend to the Shaka Buddha and help uphold and disseminate his teachings.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.