Permanent Collection

Reliquary Casket
Reliquary Casket

Reliquary Casket

French
13th century
c. 1200–1220
Champlevé enamel on copper, wood core
8 7/8 x 9 1/2 x 4 1/8 in. (22.6 x 24.2 x 10.5 cm)
AP 1979.26
A major center of the manufacture and export of exquisitely crafted reliquaries in the Middle Ages was Limoges, located in southwestern France along several ecclesiastical and pilgrimage routes.
Covered Box with Molded Peony Design
Covered Box with Molded Peony Design

Covered Box with Molded Peony Design

China
Song dynasty (960–1279)
13th century
Porcelain, transparent glaze with pale blue gray tint (Qingbai ware)
H. 3 1/8 in. (7.9 cm); Diam. 5 11/16 in. (14.5 cm)
AG 1971.01
Qingbai ware, prized for its elegant restraint, was produced near the great ceramic center of Jingdezhen in Jiangxi province, in south China. These delicate porcelains are distinguished by a clear, bluish white glaze over incised, combed, or molded decoration.
Tea Caddy
Tea Caddy

Tea Caddy

China
Southern Song or Yuan dynasty (1127–1279/1279–1368)
13th–14th century
Porcelain with yellow glaze and iron oxide pigment (Jizhou ware)
H. 4 3/4 in. (12 cm); Diam. 7 3/4 in. (19.7 cm)
AG 1985.01
This charming container was originally made as a medicine or cosmetic jar, but this type of Chinese ceramic was highly prized by Japanese tea masters of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, who adapted a variety of domestic wares for use in the tea ceremony.
Vishnu
Vishnu

Vishnu

India
Chola period (c. 850–1310)
13th century
Bronze
33 3/4 x 13 3/8 x 12 7/8 in. (85.7 x 34 x 32.7 cm)
AG 1970.01
The Cholas originated a tradition of large-scale, cast-metal Hindu sculpture in the round. These sculptures were carried in ritual processions through the temple and adjoining precincts––the lugs and holes on the base were used for the insertion of poles to support the image.
Standing Shaka Buddha
Standing Shaka Buddha

Standing Shaka Buddha

Kaikei
Japanese (active c. 1185–1225)
Kamakura period (1185–1333)
c. 1210
Gilt and lacquered wood
54 7/16 x 19 1/4 x 13 1/2 in. (138.2 x 48.9 x 34.3 cm)
AP 1984.01 a,b,c
Kaikei, the great master sculptor of the Kamakura period (1185–1333), established the primary school of sculpture that produced statuary for the major temples in Nara and Kyoto.
Seated Nyoirin Kannon
Seated Nyoirin Kannon

Seated Nyoirin Kannon

Japan
Kamakura period (1185–1333)
c. 1230–50
Wood with traces of gilt and pigment
19 x 18 x 10 in. (48.3 x 45.7 x 25.4 cm)
AP 1985.15
Kannon is the Japanese name for the Indian Buddhist deity Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion. Because of the boundless love he offered to all beings, this was the most popular of all the Buddhist deities throughout Asia.
Miniature Casket
Miniature Casket

Miniature Casket

French
13th century
c. 1250–1300
Champlevé enamel on copper
3 9/16 x 3 1/16 x 1 5/8 in. (9 x 7.7 x 4.2 cm)
AP 1979.27
The enameled decoration of this fine casket, produced in Limoges, features scrolling vines with fleurons on all four sides and lozenge patterns on the pitched roof.
Bamboo and Rocks
Bamboo and Rocks

Bamboo and Rocks

Attributed to Tan Zhirui
Chinese (active late 13th to early 14th century)
Yuan dynasty (1279–1368)
c. 1275
Hanging scroll; ink on paper
39 1/2 x 14 15/16 in. (100.3 x 38 cm)
AP 2002.02
This delicate ink painting of bamboo and rocks, a recurrent motif in Chinese painting, has recently been attributed to the Yuan-dynasty (1279–1368) painter Tan Zhirui. The elegantly inscribed poem was added by the Buddhist priest Yishan Yining (1247–1317).
The Barnabas Altarpiece
The Barnabas Altarpiece

The Barnabas Altarpiece

Southwestern French or Northern Spanish (?)
(13–14th century)
Southwestern French or Northern Spanish (?), 13–14th century
c. 1275–1350
Tempera, oil, and gold on panel
Left: 35 13/16 x 14 3/8 in. (91 x 36.5 cm) Center: 35 13/16 x 22 7/16 in. (91 x 57 cm) Right: 35 13/16 x 14 9/16 in. (91 x 37 cm) Framed: 41 7/8 x 60 1/4 x 2 1/4 in. (106.4 x 153 x 5.7 cm)
AP 1969.06 a,b,c
These three panels are fragments of a once-larger ensemble, which has been named The Barnabas Altarpiece because of the inscriptions on its lower border alluding to an unidentified Bishop Barnabas.
En no Gyoja
En no Gyoja

En no Gyoja

Japan
Kamakura period (1185–1333)
c. 1300–1375
Polychromed wood
54 15/16 x 32 x 26 in. (139.6 x 81.3 x 66 cm)
AP 1984.13
En no Gyoja was the legendary founder of the Shugendo sect, which emphasized the practice of religious austerities, and he thus came to represent the archetypical ascetic recluse. He is said to have died in the early eighth century after living a hermetic life in the mountains.
Seated Arhat
Seated Arhat

Seated Arhat

China, Shaanxi province
late Yuan to early Ming dynasty (1279–1368/1368–1644)
c. 1300–1450
Cast iron, traces of pigment
30 11/16 x 19 7/8 x 16 in. (78 x 50.5 x 40.7 cm)
AP 1984.14
This engaging portrait of a monk represents an arhat (in Chinese, lohan), one of a group of “perfected beings” who, in the Buddhist faith, were the original disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha.
Twenty-Five Bodhisattvas Descending from Heaven
Twenty-Five Bodhisattvas Descending from Heaven

Twenty-Five Bodhisattvas Descending from Heaven

Japan
Kamakura period (1185–1333)
c. 1300
Pair of hanging scrolls; gold and mineral pigments on silk
39 x 15 3/4 in. each (99 x 40 cm each)
AP 1986.11 a,b
In this pair of paintings, twenty-five small music-making divinities, bejeweled and richly dressed in gold, float down from the heavens on diaphanous clouds. The divinities are bodhisattva attendants to Amida Buddha, who inspired in his followers the hope of eternal life in his Western Paradise.
Arhat Taming the Dragon
Arhat Taming the Dragon

Arhat Taming the Dragon

China
Yuan dynasty (1279–1368)
early 14th century
Hanging scroll; ink and mineral pigments on silk
48 1/4 x 20 3/4 in. (122.5 x 52.7 cm)
AP 1987.03
Arhats (in Chinese, lohans) were the original disciples of the Buddha, enlightened beings of exceptional wisdom, endowed with supernatural powers. One of their primary roles is to serve as guardians and advocates of the Buddhist Law (dharma).
Meiping Vase
Meiping Vase

Meiping Vase

China
Jiangxi province, Yuan dynasty (1279–1368)
first half of the 14th century
Porcelain with pale greenish blue glaze (Qingbai ware)
H. 12 1/2 in. (31.8 cm); Diam. 7 1/8 in. (18.1 cm)
AP 1968.08
Qingbai wares of the Yuan dynasty continue an earlier tradition of porcelain wares covered with a transparent glaze, which began as early as the tenth century. The name qingbai (bluish white) refers to the faint bluish tint of the glaze in areas where it thickens.
Pink and White Lotus
Pink and White Lotus

Pink and White Lotus

China
Yuan dynasty (1279–1368)
14th century
Hanging scroll; mineral pigments on silk
53 9/16 x 23 7/8 in. (136 x 60.7 cm)
AP 1984.19
The grandeur of this depiction of lotus blossoms, leaves, and seed pods is eloquent testimony to the considerable position accorded the genre of flower painting in China.
Vase with Fish and Foliate Scroll Design
Vase with Fish and Foliate Scroll Design

Vase with Fish and Foliate Scroll Design

China
Yuan dynasty (1279–1368)
14th century
Stoneware with brown slip and green glaze (Cizhou ware)
15 3/4 x 11 13/16 in. (40 x 30 cm)
AP 1970.06
Cizhou is the designation for a large and varied group of cream-colored stonewares decorated with painted designs under a transparent glaze, or by incising, stamping, or carving into a colored slip.

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