A Painted Banner depicting Three forms of Padmasambhava
A Painted Banner depicting Three forms of Padmasambhava


A Painted Banner depicting Three forms of Padmasambhava
Tibet, 18th century
Sensitively rendered with three painted panels depicting different forms of Padmasambhava, each mounted within a finely embroidered silk banner
7 ½ x 6 in. (19 x 15 cm.), each painting
34 ½ in. (87.8 cm.) wide, with brocades
Private collection, Connecticut, acquired in New Mexico, 11 August 2000
Himalayan Art Resources (himalayanart.org), item no.90353

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Lot Essay

Each of the three paintings depicts Padmasambhava in a unique form, seated in embrace with a female figure atop a lotus cushion. The couples are each surrounded by dancing figures in yab-yum, the first two with a wrathful deity standing in an aureole of flames below center. The third painting with a lion-headed dakini dancing below. The elegantly minimal landscape, muted palette and sensitively rendered figures suggest this work is from the Kham style of painting. For a comparable example of Kham style, see a painting of Majurishri in the American Museum of Natural History (70.2/ 649).
Similar to the tradition of miniature paintings in India, miniature paintings in Tibet are an essential part of the artistic tradition. Typically, these small paintings are framed in cloth or brocade and sewn together in a series. They almost always depict sets of figures, such as in the present example which shows three of the eight forms of Padmasambhava.

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