Amitayus, the Bodhisattva of Limitless Life

Artist/maker unknown, Chinese1761; Qianlong Period (1736-1795)

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art
Philadelphia, United States

Amitayus sits on a blue lotus rising from a pool of foaming waves. The idealized landscape with offerings of multicolored jewels, elephant tusks, and a red coral branch represents sacred space. The red sun and a white crescent moon that appear simultaneously in the sky imply sacred time. This thangka's Chinese origin is indicated by the inscription (on the back), which is written in Tibetan, Manchurian, Mongolian, and Chinese--the four official languages of the Qing dynasty. The inscription includes the date of the commission as well as the name of the deity and, together with the yellow silk that covers the back, shows that the painting was originally part of the imperial Manchu collections.


  • Title: Amitayus, the Bodhisattva of Limitless Life
  • Creator Nationality: Chinese
  • Creator Gender: Unknown
  • Date: 1761; Qianlong Period (1736-1795)
  • Location: China
  • Physical Dimensions: w17.5 x h25 in (Image)
  • Provenance: Gift of Natacha Rambova, 1960
  • Type: Textiles
  • Rights: © 2014 Philadelphia Museum of Art. All rights reserved.
  • External Link: Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Medium: Appliquéd silk with cloth mounting
  • Artist/Maker: Artist/maker unknown, Chinese

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps