• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 9390

    Indian and Southeast Asian Art

    22 March 2000, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 141

    A Thanka of Mahasiddha Kukuripa

    TIBET, CIRCA 1800

    Price Realised  


    A Thanka of Mahasiddha Kukuripa
    Tibet, circa 1800
    The Mahasiddha seated upon a log next to a gray dog with trees flowering behind amidst rocky cliffs, his gaze directed upwards towards a Dakini seated on a lotus cushion emanating from a cloud of smoke
    24 x 18½ in. (60.8 x 47 cm.)

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    Kukuripa is one of the 84 Mahasiddhas usually shown alongside the dog he cared for in life. While he meditated, he was about to attain enlightenment but he declined to leave the earthly abode for fear that the dog would suffer on its own. His decision proved correct because the dog was in actuality a Dakini who in turn granted him enlightenment in a smoky vision illustrated at left. Kukuripa's tale demonstrates that enlightenment cannot be attained without compassion.
    For a similar example in the Shelley and Donald Rubin collection, see M. Rhie and R. Thurman, Worlds of Transformation, 1999, p. 100, fig. 12, where the authors note that the painting may have been part of a set derived from an original painitng by Situ Panchen.