Apr 23, 2013
Apr 23, 2013

Iconographic Drawings: Vaishravana, Yama, Ushnishavijaya, Chunda (?), and Buddha (recto)

Iconographic Drawings: Vaishravana, Yama, Ushnishavijaya, Chunda (?), and Buddha (recto)

c. 1500

Part of a set. See all set records

Ink and watercolor on cotton

Overall: 20.3 x 12.7 cm (8 x 5 in.)

Delia E. Holden Fund 1985.191.a


Did you know?

The script notations are in an Indic script, but the line drawings are Tibetan.


Tibetan thangka painters referred to sketchbooks with drawings that delineate the iconographies—appearance and identifying attributes—of Buddhist figures. These visual guides were heavily used; very few survive. This rare example shows signs of wear, but the steady line drawings are the work of a master.

The largest figure on the left is the guardian king of the north, Vaishravana, god of wealth, and the small figure to the right appears to be a donor in Tibetan dress. The next page to the right has Yama, the guardian king of the south, and the god of death in union with his consort on his buffalo mount. Below them is a goddess of longevity, Ushnishavijaya. At the far right is an 18-armed goddess seated in a skull cup on serpents, below which is a seated Buddha.

See also
Tibetan Art
Type of artwork: 
Credit line: 
Delia E. Holden Fund

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