Fri, 27th May 2022 13:00

Fine Japanese Art

 
  Lot 82
 

82

AN IMPRESSIVE PAIR OF LARGE SCROLL PAINTINGS DEPICTING NIO GUARDIANS

Starting price
€4,000
Estimate
€8,000
 

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Lot details

Japan, c. 1700, early Edo period (1615-1868)

Each boldly and expressively painted with ink and watercolors on silk, mounted as a hanging scroll with a silk brocade frame. Each depicting one of the two Nio guardians, Agyo with open mouth and Ungyo with closed mouth, respectively, well detailed with muscular bodies, flowing robes, and billowing garlands, and adorned with a necklace, bracelets, and armlets, one holding a Buddhist tuning fork and the other a thunderbolt sceptre. Their faces show fierce, almost grotesque expressions marked by large bulging eyes and furrowed brows.

SIZE 127.5 x 75.6 cm (image, each) and 192 x 91.5 cm (total, each)

Condition: Good condition with some wear, soiling, creasing, few minuscule losses, the mounting with some wear and small tears.
Provenance: Dutch collection.

With an old black-lacquered wood storage box.

Nio or Kongorikishi are two wrathful and muscular guardians of the Buddha, found at the entrance of many Buddhist temples in East Asian Buddhism in the form of frightening wrestler-like statues. They are dharmapala manifestations of the bodhisattva Vajrapani, the oldest and most powerful of the Mahayana Buddhist pantheon. According to Japanese tradition, they travelled with Gautama Buddha to protect him. Within the generally pacifist tradition of Buddhism, stories of dharmapalas justified the use of physical force to protect cherished values and beliefs against evil. Nio are also seen as a manifestation of Mahasthamaprapta, the bodhisattva of power that flanks Amitabha in Pure Land Buddhism and as Vajrasattva in Tibetan Buddhism. They are usually a pair of figures that stand under a separate temple entrance gate commonly called Niomon in Japan. The right statue is called Misshaku Kongo (or Agyo) and has his mouth open, and the left statue is called Naraen Kongo (or Ungyo) and has his mouth closed. Similar to Alpha and Omega in Christianity, they signify ‘everything’.

 
 

Japan, c. 1700, early Edo period (1615-1868)

Each boldly and expressively painted with ink and watercolors on silk, mounted as a hanging scroll with a silk brocade frame. Each depicting one of the two Nio guardians, Agyo with open mouth and Ungyo with closed mouth, respectively, well detailed with muscular bodies, flowing robes, and billowing garlands, and adorned with a necklace, bracelets, and armlets, one holding a Buddhist tuning fork and the other a thunderbolt sceptre. Their faces show fierce, almost grotesque expressions marked by large bulging eyes and furrowed brows.

SIZE 127.5 x 75.6 cm (image, each) and 192 x 91.5 cm (total, each)

Condition: Good condition with some wear, soiling, creasing, few minuscule losses, the mounting with some wear and small tears.
Provenance: Dutch collection.

With an old black-lacquered wood storage box.

Nio or Kongorikishi are two wrathful and muscular guardians of the Buddha, found at the entrance of many Buddhist temples in East Asian Buddhism in the form of frightening wrestler-like statues. They are dharmapala manifestations of the bodhisattva Vajrapani, the oldest and most powerful of the Mahayana Buddhist pantheon. According to Japanese tradition, they travelled with Gautama Buddha to protect him. Within the generally pacifist tradition of Buddhism, stories of dharmapalas justified the use of physical force to protect cherished values and beliefs against evil. Nio are also seen as a manifestation of Mahasthamaprapta, the bodhisattva of power that flanks Amitabha in Pure Land Buddhism and as Vajrasattva in Tibetan Buddhism. They are usually a pair of figures that stand under a separate temple entrance gate commonly called Niomon in Japan. The right statue is called Misshaku Kongo (or Agyo) and has his mouth open, and the left statue is called Naraen Kongo (or Ungyo) and has his mouth closed. Similar to Alpha and Omega in Christianity, they signify ‘everything’.

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Auction: Fine Japanese Art, Fri, 27th May 2022

 

We are proud to present to our latest catalog of Fine Japanese Art, which includes 348 lots curated with a love for the Japanese aesthethic. We hope you will enjoy browsing through our selecton and are as always available for any enquiries you should have!

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We recently moved to a new office, and we're thrilled to share a first look at the new location! We hope you enjoy this video walkthrough of the exhibition for this auction, our first viewing in the space.

 

 

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