A lecture by Ive Covaci, Lecturer of Art History at Fairfield University.
In the Kamakura period (1185-1333), illustrated scrolls depicting the origin stories of famous temples and shrines became a popular genre of painting. Embedded within, and often forming the focus of, temple foundation legends are stories about the main icons enshrined at the temples. As the painted legends both show and tell us, these sculptures frequently have miraculous origins: they appear suddenly of their own accord, they are carved by gods appearing in the guise of human sculptors, they reveal their desire to be created in dream visions, they come to life and move about, or they refuse to move once installed in a certain place. This lecture will present several Kamakura-period illustrated scrolls depicting miraculous icons, and will discuss how sculptures are brought to life for patrons and devotees through painted tales.
Ive Covaci is a lecturer in Art History at Fairfield University in Fairfield, CT. She is the editor of Kamakura: Realism and Spirituality in the Sculpture of Japan (Yale UP and Asia Society, 2016) and was the co-curator of the exhibition with the same title at Asia Society Museum in New York in the spring of 2016.