Requires Photography

Shakyamuni Buddha Surrounded by Lamas and Deities

18th century

Object Place: Tibet


58 x 42 cm (22 13/16 x 16 9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Distemper and gold on cotton

Not On View





Painting with no borders, possibly originally in thangka format.

Large central figure of Buddha Shakyamuni sits on a lotus with his right hand in bhumisparsa mudra and his left hand in dhyana mudra, holding a begging bowl. Above him, in the sky, are wrathful deities, Arhats, and Mahasiddhas, including one seated at right with a large fish. At right there is a pair of lunging Bodhisattva-like figures; at left, a Mahasiddha carrying an arrow and a hatless monk holding two crossed vajras. There is a small figure of a lama directly above the Buddha’s head. The central figure is flanked by groups of seated monks in red hats. Before him is a table with offerings. Some of the monks in the foreground are identified by small inscriptions in gold paint (to be read). At the bottom, an enthroned lama at the center, wearing a complex yellow hat, is flanked by yellow-hatted lamas. In the lower left corner, a dark-skinned wrathful deity with long hair stands on a corpse. At the lower right, there is a yellow/white-skinned wrathful deity with a sword.


On obverse, brief inscriptions in gold ink, in Tibetan script, identify individual figures (to be read). On reverse, mantras repeated behind each figure, in red or gold ink.


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

Credit Line

William Sturgis Bigelow Collection