|The Paradise of Maitreya wall-painting
|Zhu Haogu and Zhang Boyuan|
|Ink and colour on clay|
|Centimetres: 502 (height), 1101 (width)|
|Yuan dynasty (1271-1368)|
|Area of Origin: Xiaoning Cun,Jishan Xian, Shanxi Province, China|
|Bishop White Gallery of Chinese Temple Art|
|BISHOP WILLIAM C. WHITE COLLECTION, GIFT OF THE FLAVELLE FOUNDATION IN MEMORY OF SIR JOSEPH FLAVELLE|
Description: Painted more than seven centuries ago, the mural The Paradise of Maitreya once adorned a wall of a Buddhist monastery in China that no longer exists today. Created by the famed painter Zhu Haogu in 1298, the richly coloured mural depicts an imagined heaven with Maitreya, or Buddha of the future, as the central figure. Related deities and guardians surround him along with a king and queen converting to Buddhism, their heads being shaved in preparation.
Few museums outside China have examples of such murals. The ROM’s is one of the best-preserved Yuan dynasty (1271-1368) temple wall paintings in the world. Shipped in 1928, it arrived at the Museum in 63 sections and was painstakingly restored in 1933. It’s still possible to see where some of the sections were joined together. As part of the Renaissance ROM project, in 2005 The Paradise of Maitreya received another much-needed conservation treatment, restoring it to its full magnificence. The mural is the centrepiece of the ROM’s Bishop White Gallery, which holds one of the world’s most important collections of Chinese temple art.
Publications: Ka Bo Tsang (2006) The Paradise of Maitreya: A Yuan Dynasty Mural from Shanxi Province, Orientations, Volume 37 Number 3, April 2006.
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