Collection Online

Mandala of the Matrix World
(Taizōkai mandara 胎蔵界曼荼羅)
(15th century-16th century)

opaque watercolour and gold paint on silk
218.4 × 184.5 cm (image and sheet)
Place/s of Execution
Accession Number
Asian Art
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 1971
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Gordon Darling Foundation
Gallery location
Not on display
Physical description
Mandala in Sanskrit literally means ‘circle’ and in Hindu and Esoteric Buddhist traditions these images are sacred art objects used to depict teachings and philosophies. These two mandala have been produced in direct lineage from the revered ninth century Ryōkai Mandala (Two World Mandala) housed at Tō-ji temple, Kyoto. Representing the entire Buddhist cosmos, they are depictions of the spiritual universe and its myriad of realms and deities. Tazōkai (the Matrix World) is the world of physical phenomena. In this mandala, the Dainichi Buddha sits in the absolute centre with all of his physical manifestations, ranged in several courts, radiating outwards. In most cases Dainichi Buddha represents compassion or mercy; however, in places he appears as a fierce creature representing the Buddha’s ability to overcome evil.