London, South Kensington
7 November 2014
A THANGKA DEPICTING A LAMA
TIBET, 18TH CENTURY
The high pontiff is seated with legs crossed on multi-layered cushions with both hands resting on his lap in dhyanamudra supporting a kapala containing a kalasha. He also holds a pair of lotus stems that flower along his shoulders and support the vajra and ghanta attributes. He is clad in a monk’s garb including a mantle. His elderly face displays a meditative expression and his head is topped with the specific bonnet. The lama is placed in front of a pavilion with various offering vessels next to him. The upper register sees another lama and the protective deity Yama. The bull-headed deity embraces his sister Yami who offers him a blood-filled kapala and karttrika. The lower register has the god of richness Vaishravana in the centre. The lion-headed Simhavaktra and Beg.tse, literally ‘hidden shirt of mail’, trampling a horse and human figure, flank him. One side of the painting has a walled triple-roofed pagoda with a lama seated on a throne. An important visitor followed by a procession arrives at its gate. The various scenes are placed in a mountainous landscape.
25 ½ x 18 ¾ in. (64.8 cm. x 47.6 cm.)
Christie's London, 12 October 2000, lot 314
Formerly in a private American collection and gifted to the vendor prior to 2003.
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Please note that the images for lot 491 and lot 490 have been transposed in the printed catalogue. Please refer to the images online.
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