Copper with traces of gilt
Overall: 17.8 cm (7 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1982.52
One of the earliest surviving tantric sculptures, this figure of Vajrapani-"he who holds the lightning bolt"-places his hand on a vajra, a thunder bolt symbol that refers to the lightning speed with which practitioners may achieve enlightenment when they follow tantric techniques. The prongs of the lightning bolt are in his hair; his arms are crossed, and a knotted snake is slung around his hips.
Vajrapani's elaborate hairstyle, along with the gentle articulation of the cloth, subtly swaying postures, and introspective expressions are close derivations from 5th-century models, thereby implying an early date for the bronze.
The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
Is something not working on this page? Please email email@example.com.
Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.