• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2126

    Masterpieces from the Zimmerman Family Collection

    15 September 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 6

    An Important thangka of the Akshobya Vajra Guhyasamaja Mandala


    Price Realised  


    An Important thangka of the Akshobya Vajra Guhyasamaja Mandala
    Central Tibet, late 14th century
    Main deities in embrace at center, surrounded by four directional deities and their retinue within a square mandala further enclosed by concentric circles of lotus petals and multi-colored flames, surrounded by various deities and llamas against a floral black background, and with two registers of seated figures at top and bottom
    Opaque pigments on textile
    36 x 32¾ in. (91.4 x 83.2 cm.)

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    At the top of this painting is a register depicting all the lineage teachers of the Guhyasamaja tradition according to Sakya practice, identifying this painting as a Sakya Tradition painting.

    The figures in the innermost circle surrounding the central figures are (clockwise):
    Amitabha and Pandara Vasini (red male and female)
    Amoghasiddhi and Samaya Tara (green male and green female)
    Vairochana and Buddha Lochani (white male and female)
    Ratnasambhava and Mamaki (yellow male and blue female)
    Mamaki (green male and green female)

    In the corners of the blue field between the circle and central square, seated against red mandalas, are the four female figures representing the qualities of desire. Outside of that, seated in the multicolored band are the Eight Bodhisattvas and ten wrathful gate and door keepers. At the lower left is the wrathful protector deity Panjarnata Mahakala, and at lower right is Vaishravana.


    M. Rhie and R. Thurman, Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet, 1997, p. 103 and 120, cat. no. 85


    Bonn, Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland; Barcelona, Fundacio "la Caixa"; Tokyo, Tobu Museum of Art; The Yamaguchi Prefectural Museum of Art and Chiba City Museum of Art, Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet, May 1996 - September 1997, cat. no. 85
    Taipei, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet, January - March 1998, p. 26