Study and photographing of the Painting of the Akasagarbha Bodhisattva (a National Treasure) in the Collection of the Tokyo National Museum

High-resolution image photography of the Painting of the Akasagarbha Bodhisattva

 As part of the “Study on Digital Imaging of Cultural Properties” research project of the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems, high-resolution images of a color Painting of the Akasagarbha Bodhisattva on silk (a National Treasure) in the Tokyo National Museum were taken on October 5th. This photography was in accordance with a “joint study” between the Institute and the Tokyo National Museum. The images were taken by SHIRONO Seiji of the Institute’s Image Laboratory with the assistance of TAZAWA Hiroyoshi of the Tokyo National Museum; KOBAYASHI Tatsuro and EMURA Tomoko were also involved in the project. The Painting of the Akasagarbha Bodhisattva is a typical Buddhist painting from the Heian Period. Buddhist paintings from the Heian Period display delicate beauty in subtle features that distinguish these works in the history of Japanese paintings. Thus, observing the subtle features displayed is crucial. The project photographed the work as a whole in 28 sections at the highest resolution currently available, and more detailed portions were macro-photographed in 8 sections. The results surpass what is visible with the naked eye. In the future, the Institute will jointly examine the information obtained with specialists from the Tokyo National Museum.

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