• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2024

    Indian and Southeast Asian Art

    16 September 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 559

    A thangka of the Medicine Buddha

    TIBETO-CHINESE, 19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A thangka of the Medicine Buddha
    Tibeto-Chinese, 19th century
    The Buddha seated at center over a lotus throne, holding the medicine fruit and alms bowl in his hands, backed by a mandala filled with text, with various deities above and worshippers below, all against a cloudy mountainous background, surrounded by a border filled with further figures
    Silk and metal-wrapped thread, and hardstones, on textile
    53 1/2 x 35 in. (136 x 89 cm.)


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    This textile depicts the Medicine Buddha with the complete retinue of figures in his mandala. He holds a begging bowl in the left hand while his right hand is extended across his knee holding a myrobalan medicinal plant. The golden body color is unusual and intended to highlight the red coral beads. The central figure is surrounded by the decorative ranjana or lantsha script and likely to be the long mantra for Medicine Buddha.

    On either side of the lotus seat are ten Hindu gods and below them, the twelve Yaksha generals, each holding a mongoose in their left hand. At the bottom right and left are the Four Guardian Kings. Offerings are arranged at the bottom center between the kings.

    The seven buddhas at the top of the composition are the famous medicine Buddha brothers, and the sixteen bodhisattvas below are the next circle of retinue figures in the mandala.

    Outside of the inner square frame at bottom are monks making offerings and holding a variety of objects, and at the sides and top there are heavenly gods and goddesses seated amongst the clouds. At the top center is a lama figure with disciples before him.

    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from the Collection of a Professor