Browse Lots

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
A Rare Pair of Thankas Depicting Mahasiddhas
A Rare Pair of Thankas Depicting Mahasiddhas

TIBET, 17TH/18TH CENTURY

Details
A Rare Pair of Thankas Depicting Mahasiddhas
Tibet, 17th/18th Century
Each seated over animal skins on a rock pedestal and mat respectively, one holding a severed head flanked by a goat holding a lingzhi mushroom of longevity, the other wearing a peaked monk's hat with accoutrements for ritual pacification placed beside him, beneath overhanging branches with finely painted leaves and each with images of the Five Tathagatas in three corners
28 x 19 in. (73 x 49.5 cm.) (2)

Lot Essay

The figure on the right might be indentified as Gayadhara, an Indian master who brought the teachings of Buddhism to Tibet in the early 11th Century; compare a later portrait in W. Zwalf (ed.), Buddhism, Art and Faith, 1985, cat. no. 195.
Portraits of this type are based on the emergence of Arhat portraits in the 15th century derived from Chinese prototypes of the late Yuan and early Ming dynasties. A single figure is thereby harmoniously embedded in a landscape setting; cf. M. Rhie and R. Thurman, Worlds of Transformation, 1999, fig. 16, for a comparable landscape setting in a palette of green and blue in an Arhat painting dated Yongle in the collection of the Brooklyn Museum, and from the Rubin Collection, ibid., cat. no. 26, after a 15th century composition; two further portraits in P. Pal, Tibetan Paintings, 1984, pl. 73 and 74; and and from the Rubin Collection, M. Rhie and R. Thurman, Worlds of Transformation, 1999, cat. nos. 21 and 26.
;

More from Indian and Southeast Asian Art

View All
View All