Important Cultural PropertyCintamani-cakra Avalokitesvara (manifestation of Avalokitesvara)

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  • By Ryouzen
  • 1 hanging scroll
  • Ink and light color on silk
  • 109.6x44.1
  • Nanbokuchō period/14th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • A-12326

Ryozen was an active painter in the 14th century. Although his detailed background is unknown, legends attached to his works suggest that he had a strong relationship with Tofukuji Temple in Kyoto and its chief priest, Kenboshidon(1285-1361).
It seems that the trees in the upper part of this Nyoirin Kannon iconograph were incorporated from the preceding suibokuga (black ink paintings) and the image of the deity drawn in black ink was converted from a colored Nyoirin Kannon image. The following features of this work suggest that this is the best 14th-century Buddhist painting that only Ryozen, who excelled at suiboku paintings, could have created: elaborate, yet subdued patterns applied to the robe, crown and lotus pedestal using kindei (gold powder paste), drawing rocks behind the halo in light sumi ink and the entire screen depicted as a space surrounding Kannon. A kindei seal is affixed in the bottom right corner, which says "Drawn by Kaiseijin Ryozen."