Envisioning a Monastery: A Seventeenth-Century Buddhist Fundraising Appeal Album

In: T'oung Pao
Elizabeth Kindall University of St. Thomas

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This article is devoted to an early seventeenth-century folio album (now mounted as a handscroll) assembled to invite potential donors to contribute to the reconstruction of Fuyuan Monastery, located on an island in Lake Tai, near Suzhou. The album included two paintings representing the monastery as it might look after reconstruction as well as a set of calligraphies by Suzhou luminaries recording the efforts of the monk who had initiated the fund-raising campaign and encouraging contributions. The artistic and social circumstances of the endeavor are analyzed on the basis of the texts in the album and other contemporary sources.

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