- Feature Exhibition Paintings from the Kyoto Imperial Palace: The Shishinden
- January 2, 2020 - February 2, 2020
The Ceremonial Hall (Shishinden) is considered the most important building on the imperial palace grounds, which came to serve as official building for enthronement and state ceremonies sometime after the mid-Heian period (794–1185).
The panels from the Shishinden in this exhibit, depict Thirty-two Chinese Sages and are installed behind the platform of the emperor's throne (takamikura). The paintings portray thirty-two sages that are said to have lived between the Shang dynasty (ca. 1750–1045 BCE) and Tang dynasty (618–907), in China. They are associated with ethical rule and can be placed within the tradition of moral paragon painting. The center panels feature a pair of guardian lion and lion-dog, and an auspicious turtle.
Today, while most of the wall panels found at the imperial palace were newly painted during a major reconstruction project in 1855, the Thirty-two Chinese Sages panels date to 1792, two years after the Ceremonial Hall was completed. Please take a good look at the nine panels from the Ceremonial Hall displayed on this rare occasion.