Requires Photography

Buddha Shakyamuni

19th century

Object Place: Tibet


94.5 x 65 cm (37 3/16 x 25 9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Distemper and gold on cotton with remnants of silk brocade border

Not On View





Painting with no borders, with remnants of decorative borders, would have originally been in thangka format.

Large central figure of Buddha Shakyamuni sits cross-legged on a lotus throne. His right hand is in bhumisparsa mudra and his left hand is in dhyana mudra, holding his begging bowl. On the bottoms of his feet are dharmachakras. Below the Buddha are the Guardian Kings of the Four Directions with Vaishravana seated on a snow lion at the center. To eitehr side of the throne are arhats. To either side of the Buddha are crowned figures of Dhyanibodhisattvas seated on lotus thrones. Each holds an attribute atop a lotus. Above the Buddha are Manjushri, a Buddha, Vajrasattva, another Buddha, and Vajradhara. The elaborate throne, with snow lion motifs and brocade drapes, is similar in style and format to that seen in other Thangkas from the Bigelow collection, suggesting that they are all from the same atelier.


1921, William Sturgis Bigelow, Boston, MA; 1921, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 7, 1921)

Credit Line

William Sturgis Bigelow Collection