after-treatment © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
One of the Ten Kings of Hell
Work Type
painting, hanging scroll
15th - 16th century
Creation Place: East Asia, China
Ming dynasty, 1368-1644
Level 2, Room 2740, Buddhist Art, The Efflorescence of East Asian and Buddhist Art
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Physical Descriptions
Hanging scroll; ink and colors on silk
painting proper: H. 139.7 × W. 94.2 cm (55 × 37 1/16 in.)
overall mounting, including roller ends and suspension cord: H. 245.3 × 122.8 cm (W. 96 9/16 × 48 3/8 in.)
State, Edition, Standard Reference Number
Standard Reference Number
A 10-013b (Suzuki Kei)
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Clifford A. Kaye
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Label Text: Buddhist Art: The Later Tradition (1993) , written 1993
These paintings of the Kings of Hell were executed in a highly realistic style full of vigor and carefully observed detail. Apart from the punishments of hell, minutes details of ornaments are faithfully portrayed. Accoutrements of the scholar’s desk typical of the late Ming period (1368—1644) adorn the marble-topped desks of the kings, for example. The careful description of the scholar’s objects—whether inkstones, water droppers, lacquer boxes, incense burners, or mountain-shaped brushrests—help in assigning these paintings to the late sixteenth or seventeenth century. The latter is important as the scrolls bear traditional attributions to Lu Hsin-chung, a painter of Buddhist figures who was active in Ningpo, Chekiang province, in the thirteenth century.

Publication History

Suzuki Kei, Chugoku kaiga sogo zuroku, Amerika Kanada hen (Comprehensive Illustrated Catalog of Chinese Paintings, Volume 1: American and Canadian Collections), University of Tokyo Press (Tokyo, Japan, 1982), pp. I-55 and I-432, no. A 10-013

Exhibition History

Chinese Painting and Decorative Arts from the Permanent Collection, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 08/17/1991 - 01/26/1992

32Q: 2740 Buddhist II, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/29/2017 - 05/31/2018

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at