A Large and Important Thangka of Sitatapatra
Tibet, Gyantse Style, 15th Century
Very finely delineated in bright mineral pigments depicting the fierce protector goddess within an aureole painted with gold flames, painted in a white body wearing richly colored garments and an elaborate gold crown of Buddhas on her primary heads, with 995 smaller heads in white, red, gold and blue, and 1000 arms radiating, striding in alidhasana atop worldly deities and animals, her primary hands holding a parasol, a Dharma wheel and an arrow, the figure further surrounded by registers of numerous smaller Bodhisattvas, mahasiddhas, and cloaked lamas, with four longevity goddesses in white at the corners, the lotus throne with scalloped petals and supported by lions and three niches depicting Vajrapani, Danda Mahakala and Dorje Rabtema; the reverse inscribed in red ink with a large stupa at center filled with blessings, rows of the syllable Ohm and also bearing a one-line inscription at lower left in black ink: bir togs mkas pa rmung shod rgyug pa'i sangs rgyas grags [The expert painter Sangje Drag of the Mungsho Gyugpa family.]
59 x 57 in. (150 x 145 cm.)
The presence of Dorje Rabtema at the lower right would affiliate the painting with Shalu Monastery where the deity functions as its special protector.