Joint study of A Painting of Mahamayuri (National Treasure) in the collection of the Tokyo National Museum
Together with the Tokyo National Museum, the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems has continued to conduct joint studies of Buddhist paintings from the Heian Period in the National Museum’s collection. Each year, the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo uses its high-resolution digital imaging technology to image a single work in order to assemble data so that researchers can learn about the finer aspects of the techniques used to produce the work. These data have allowed identification of extraordinary techniques that would not have been apparent with the naked eye. Researchers from the Tokyo National Museum and the Institute have explored how these techniques relate to the sophisticated pictorial depictions in Buddhist paintings from the Heian Period. As part of this year’s study, A Painting of Mahamayuri (jpn.Kujaku-myō-ō) (National Treasure) was imaged on January 15, 2015. The image data obtained will be shared with researchers from the Tokyo National Museum, and in the future researchers from the two facilities will explore the painting’s place in art history.