Woodblock print of Buddha with his Assembly

18th-19th century

Rubin Museum of Art

Rubin Museum of Art
New York, United States

STYLE: A printing block made of three planks of wood was used to create the imagery and text of this print, the seams recognizable as two fine horizontal lines interrupting the illustration. Chinese woodblock prints can be distinguished from those of Tibet by the gradation of their lines, some of which are extremely fine, and areas of solid black. In addition, numerous other motifs found in this work reveal a Chinese origin, among them the parasol above the Buddha, some of the offerings held by the flanking divinities, the arhats with their extremely high foreheads, and the clouds in the shape of a magic scepter (ruyi), an example of which is actually being held by one of the arhats.

CONTENT: According to the inscription at the base of this print, this assembly is to be printed on cloth and represents the sublime liturgy taught by the Buddha that cures just from seeing it. Seated on a lotus arising from the waters, the Buddha is shown surrounded by sixteen bodhisattvas. In the landscape around this central assembly are four groups of eight, namely buddhas at the top right, solitary buddhas (pratyekabuddha) at top left, bodhisattvas at bottom right, and disciples (shravaka). Avalokiteshvara and a protector deity have been placed on rocky projections and show their devotion to the main assembly, while arhats and spiritual adepts (siddhas) practice in rock caves.


  • Title: Woodblock print of Buddha with his Assembly
  • Date: 18th-19th century
  • Date Created: 18th-19th century
  • Physical Dimensions: H 41.375 x W 26.875 x D 1.5 in.
  • Type: Graphic Arts (Block Print)
  • Rights: Rubin Museum of Art, C2010.16
  • Medium: Ink on paper
  • Place of Creation: China
  • Exhibition History: Rubin Museum of Art, "Masterworks: Jewels of the Collection" (02/06/13 - 01/13/14)

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