Shakyamuni Buddha Surrounded by Lamas and Deities
Object Place: Tibet
58 x 42 cm (22 13/16 x 16 9/16 in.)
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)
William Sturgis Bigelow Collection