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Nine Stages | Scroll

Nine Stages | Scroll


The depiction of the nine stages of decay of a human body was not unpopular for its association with Buddhist beliefs and practices. Contemplation on the impermanence of the body and the inevitability of death is an important aspect of spiritual practice to cultivate detachment and understanding of the transient nature of existence.

Through such depictions, viewers were encouraged to contemplate the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth (samsara) and to reflect on the impermanence of worldly phenomena.

Additionally, these artistic representations served as a reminder of the importance of living a virtuous life and the futility of attachment to material possessions and bodily beauty, as all worldly things are subject to decay and eventual dissolution. Thus, the popularity of this subject in Japanese art reflects the cultural and religious significance placed on themes of impermanence and the transitory nature of human existence in Buddhist-influenced societies.

The scroll is signed at the end, but the research about the artists indentity has not yet come to a satifying end.  


Handscroll, dated 1916

Ink and color on paper

Painting 23.8 x 76.6 cm (9 ¼ x 30 ¼ in), each

Mounting 27 x 1150 cm (10½ x 452¾ in)
Wooden box


SKU: 2609
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