Guatama Buddha and Divinities and Worshipping Donors

A.D. 1716

Object Place: Nepal


Height x width: 63 x 74.1 cm (24 13/16 x 29 3/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Distemper on cotton

Not On View





Painting with decorative borders, mounted on support panel. Would have originally been in thangka format.

Buddhist painting illustrating the Pindapatra and Kapisa Avadanas: the central figure a seated Buddha in bhumisparsa mudra, with the arhats Ananda and Mahakasyapa. Above, along the upper margin, the five Dhyani Buddhas; below, along the lower margin, a four armed red Prajñaparamita in the center with worshipping donors. The subsidiary scenes around the outer edge of the whole picture are connected with almsgiving, but the sequence is not apparent in detail.

The two stories (avadanas) illustrated around the central figure teach the virtues of charity. The narrative starts from the upper right (proper left side of the seated Buddha). In the Kapisha avadana, a monkey makes an offering to one of the savior buddhas and is thus reborn as a man. The monkey then makes a second offering and is reborn as a king. The story continues in the Pindapatra avadana when the king then offers an alms bowl and is eventually reborn as a buddha.


Inscription at bottom mentions a king (Shri Jaya Mahendra Simha Deva who reigned 1694-1722), donors (residents of Kathmandu), and the date the painting was donated: Nepal samvat 837, equivalent to A.D. 1716, Nepal.


1907, Edward W. Forbes, Cambridge, MA; 1907, loan of Forbes to the MFA; 1919, gift of Forbes to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 30, 1919)

Credit Line

Gift of Edward Waldo Forbes