King of the Underworld


Unknown - King of the Underworld
According to tradition, the King of the Underworld judged the souls of the dead when they arrived in the hereafter. The pleading figures of the unfortunate in ragged clothes can be seen in the bottom right corner and on the left pillar in the middle of the scene. Although it is a folk work, the painting is sensitively and impressively executed. It is also lavishly colored; in certain places, such as the table with a book and writing aids, we see characters explaining which colors should be used in which parts. It shows that the painting master handled difficult details like the faces and refined decoration while his disciples usually did the less demanding parts. The texts were originally written in the background color, which shows through a layer of white today. The main panel next to the pillar with the souls of the dead says: I will climb on the terrace overlooking my native village / so sad that I cannot speak out. After death I must leave / all those I loved.
measurements: height 105 cm
width 51,3 cm
in collections:
material: paper
technique: painted in ink and colors
inventory number: Vm 890
gallery collection: Collection of Asian and African Art

more artworks