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Painting

Thangka

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Native Name:
Thangka
Object Number:
49-13-1
Current Location:
Collections storage
Culture:
Tibetan
Tibetan Buddhist
Provenience:
Tibet (uncertain)
Date Made:
15th Century - 1949
Early Date:
1400
Late Date:
1949
Section:
Asian
Technique:
Painted
Iconography:
Bhavaviveka
acharya
Lama
Nargarjuna
Yidam Samvara
Mahakala
Buddhist Spiritual Being
Description:
The acharya(holy man) Bhavaviveka, a great Buddhist teacher, founder of a school of Buddhism in India, and one of the line of previous incarnations of the Panchen Lamas of Tibet. He is represented as seated in a garden in front of his house converting a heretic from the sect of the naked ascetics(Digambaras). Below him, an ascetic who has been converted is receiving the tonsure at the hands of a monk, while an earlier convert presents him with a robe. Upper right is Nargarjuna (c. 2nd century A.D.), a previous great teacher of Buddhism, whose doctrines Bhavaviveka followed: upper left is a form of the Yidam Samvara(with his consort), B.'s tutelary deity: lower left is a form of Mahakala, B's demon-protector: all considered as helping him in the process of extending the faith. This is a fine example of a Tibetan religious painting in which the apparently disconnected elements are actually closely related in a single theme. A similar painting of the same subject is shown in J. Hackin, Asiatic Mythology (London, 1932), p. 172.
Credit Line:
Gift of John F. Lewis, Jr.

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