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Printed and painted panoramic map of the Wutai Shan Mountain
VK4851-95
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

In Tibetan Buddhism, Wutai Shan or 'the five terraces' is associated with the Bodhisattva Mañjušrī of transcendental wisdom and it is one of China’s most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites. Before the spread of Buddhism that began in the fifth century, the mountain was a Taoist retreat. Besides this devotional map, at least one additional copy is preserved.

History of the Object
Panoramic map, coloured woodblock print, 'A sketch of the cool and pure mountains' presents Wutai Shan Mountain and its monasteries and temples in the province of Shanxi in China. The text of the map, dealing with predictions concerning Boddhisattva Mañjušrī is in Chinese, Tibetan and Mongolian.

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Type
Other 
Materials
Cotton, consists of pieces of fabric attached to canvas 
Measurements
Height 118 cm Length 165 cm  
Creator name
unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
China; Shanxi; Wutai Shan 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 19th century ~ AD 19th century 
Creation date
19th Century; 1846 
Function
The item is a so-called devotional map made for use by pilgrims. 
Acquisition
Acquired in Urga (present-day Ulaanbaatar) in Mongolia from the so-called Beijing Shop (Beejing badarkhu) by Finnish linguist G. J. Ramstedt and archaeologist Sakari Pälsi during their expedition to Mongolia in 1909. The Beijing Shop was an agency representing the Wutai Shan monasteries in Urga. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
Text by Pilvi Vainonen Photos by Osmo Thiel, 1980 Literature: Bischoff, F. A.: Die Wu T'ai Shan Darstellung von 1846. In: Contributions on Tibetan Language, History and Culture. Eds. Ernst Steinkellner and Helmut Tauscher. Wiener Studien zur Tibetologie und Buddhismuskunde, Heft 10. Wien 1983. Halén, Harry: Mirrors of the Void. Buddhist Art in the National Museum of Finland. National Board of Antiquities 1987. 
Owner
State property, National Board of Antiquities, Finland 
Museum
Museum of Cultures, National Museum of Finland 
Credit line
 

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