Subject:Framed Chinese scroll of apparent age and 'Judgment Day' theme
Posted By: Bill H Mon, Jul 06, 2020 IP: 2601:342:200:6e70:34
I acquired this 51 by 26.5 inch framed Chinese scroll recently and am trying to figure out whether it represents teachings of Buddhist, Daoist, Confucianist or a combination of beliefs. The figural painting style has an undegraded traditional look about it, so could have been done circa the late Qing-early Republic period in my opinion. It begins at the top with a large figure holding a scepter, wearing what looks to be a Confucian costume and having a possible attendant of smaller size at his immediate right. Meanwhile, another deity, apparently Goddess of Mercy Guanyin, floats on clouds at his left. Two panels immediately below contain what may be deities with attendants as well.
Then there are two more panels with probable deities with smaller figures or souls beside them holding banners with writing. The banner held up at right reads 'Conspicuous faults' (Man nan di dian - 瞞难滴點), while the one at left says 'No trace of faults at all' (Si hao bu lou - 絲毫不漏).
Finally, the lowest panel depicts what looks like a vision of hell, with apparent sinners being punished severely by demonic figures, two of which operate a huge bellows emitting a swirling wind, layered from the bottom up with insects and sea life, then two tiers that start with birds and animals that transition to Zodiac creatures, and finally humans who transition from farm laborers to scholars. Meanwhile, probable deities look on in the foreground at this cycle of life scene, which concludes with one figure in Buddhist monk robes spoon-feeding what looks to be a repentant figure in stocks.
Any perspectives on who and what is shown here would be greatly appreciated.
I apologize for not taking a better photo of the whole thing, but the glass and wood frame on this piece weigh the proverbial ton. So, in deference to my back, I took several shots of it where it sits in a hallway and spliced them together, leaving very little unseen except the bottom of the frame.