Requires Photography

Shakyamuni Buddha

19th century

Object Place: Tibet


131 x 75 cm (51 9/16 x 29 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Distemper and gold on cotton

Not On View





Painting in hanging scroll (thangka) format, with streamers, veil, decorative stitched borders and plain wooden hanging rod.

Gold-skinned Shakyamuni sits cross-legged on a lotus throne. He touches the ground with his right hand and holds his begging bowl in his left. he is flanked by two standing monks with small figures of Manjushri (on the left) and Amitabha (right) above them. In the upper area of the painting, three yellow-hatted lamas sit making preaching gestures. The one at the left holds a vajra and dhorje. The central figure holds a vase and something like a golden cord. The right figure makes the dharmachakra mudra with both hands and holds nothing. In the lower area of the painting, three wrathful deities stand engulfed in flames: on the left is Yama standing on a bull which in turn stands on a corpse, at center is Palden Lhamo on her mule, and at the right is Beg-tse, with red skin and Mongolian armor.


On reverse, in red ink, in Tibetan, the mantras "Om, ah, hum" repeated behind each major figure.


1947, Lucy Truman Aldrich, Providence, RI; 1947, gift of Aldrich to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 9, 1947)

Credit Line

Gift of Miss Lucy T. Aldrich