Bishop White Gallery of Chinese Temple Art | Level 1

  • The Paradise of Maitreya dominates the gallery.
    Over 30 feet wide and 15 feet high, The Paradise of Maitreya dominates the gallery and is considered one of the world's best-preserved murals from the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368).
  • The pair of smaller murals are entitled Painting of Heavenly Court.
    One of the finest examples of Daoist art outside China, the pair of smaller murals entitled Painting of Heavenly Court, are from the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368).
  • Explore the rich sculptural legacy of the Shanxi and Henan provinces.
    The beauty and expression of each sculpture is a testament to a very rich sculptural tradition in Shanxi and Henan provinces between the 12th and 15th centuries.
  • Wooden sculptures
    These paired bodhisattvas are from southern Shanxi's Linfen region. Few wooden sculptures from there are known to date to the 12th century; however, the ROM's pair bears an inscribed plaque testifying to their creation shortly before AD 1195.

Religious murals survive the march of time.  

The Paradise of Maitreya, the magnificent mural that dominates this gallery, adorned the wall of a Chinese Buddhist monastery that no longer exists. It was created more than seven centuries ago during the Yuan dynasty, when Khubilai Khan ruled and the first travel to China by Europeans such as Marco Polo and his father were chronicled.  

A favourite with visitors, this gallery is home to one of the world's most important collections of Chinese temple art. Some of the first acquisitions made by the Museum are housed here, including the murals – three of the world's best-preserved – and fourteen large, breathtaking Buddhist and Daoist sculptures from Shanxi province in north China. 

About the Gallery

What?

Gallery features include three 13th – 14th century temple murals and large wooden sculptures that date from the 12th to 15th century. The gallery is named in honour of William Charles White (1873-1960), the first curator of the ROM's Chinese collections, who had been the first Anglican Bishop of Henan province. One of four galleries featuring Chinese art and archaeology.

Where?

China.

When?

Murals date from the Yuan dynasty (AD1271 – 1368), and the sculptures from the 12th to 15th century.

ROM Staff

Curator (Louise Hawley Stone Chair of East Asian Art)

Kay Sunahara in collection storage examining fragments of Roman scale mail armour from Dura Europos, Syria

Greek, Etruscan, Roman & Byzantine Collection Technician

Authored by: Noman Siddiqui