A painting from an Avadana Kalpalata Series
The Avadana Kalpalata is a collection of 108 stories based on Leaves of Heaven Tree, a text composed by Kshemendra, a Kashmiri poet who lived in the 11th century. He, in turn, based his text on the Pali canon of Buddhist scripture. The avadanas are moralistic stories which illustrate how Buddhist teachings can lead to enlightenment. Many avadanas are similar to Jataka tales, in that they are based on the previous lives of Buddha Shakyamuni, in which he lived as a Bodhisattva in various forms, demonstrating the virtues necessary to attain enlightenment.There are many ways in which the Avadana Kalpalata has been illustrated. The following three paintings are based on the Kham style, developed by Situ Panchen Chokyi Jungne (1700-1774) at the Palpung Monastery, in which the narrative stories are placed in an open landscape. There are twenty-three paintings in the Situ Panchen-designed iconography, beginning with a painting of the Buddha Shakyamuni and ending with a painting of Situ Panchen himself.Christie’s and the consignors of lots 208-255 intend to donate a portion of their proceeds received from the sale of the lot to Himalayan Art Resources, a 501(c)(3) not-for profit charity. Please note that a buyers who purchase these lots will not be eligible for any charitable contribution deduction in relation to such purchase.
A painting from an Avadana Kalpalata Series

TIBET, 18TH/19TH CENTURY

Details
A painting from an Avadana Kalpalata Series
Tibet, 18th/19th century
With various scenes, including a battle, charnal grounds, and several students receiving teachings, all set within a delicately painted landscape, with a large golden mountain in the distance
31 x 21 7/8 in. (79 x 56.5 cm.)
Provenance
Private collection, New York, purchased in the early 1990s
Literature
Himalayan Art Resources (himalayanart.org), item no.24082
Sale room notice
Christie’s and the consignors of lots 208-255 intend to donate a portion of their proceeds received from the sale of the lot to Himalayan Art Resources, a 501(c)(3) not-for profit charity. Please note that a buyers who purchase these lots will not be eligible for any charitable contribution deduction in relation to such purchase.

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Anita Mehta
Anita Mehta

Lot Essay

This painting is number 13 and depicts stories #49-54:
49. Hastaka's Good Fortune, a story about cause and effect. At the upper center, beneath a tree, the Buddha Shakyamuni explains why the youth Hastaka possesses a golden elephant.
50. Performing the Ten Actions, a story about cause and effect. Sitting in a city park, with the Vulture Peak mountain behind and above, the Buddha relates ten stories about actions and results.
51. The Lady Rukmavati in a story about generosity gives away her two breasts and a Brahmin youth feeds his body to a mother tigress.
52. Adinapunya Offers His Life, a story about generosity involving kingdoms, battles and greed.
53. Subhashitagaveshin, seeker of Wisdom, searches his kingdom for a teacher rich in wisdom.
54. Sattvaushadha's Power of Healing, a story about the perfection of meditation, a healing pond and the relief of suffering.

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