Shakyamuni in meditation

17th century

Object Place: Tibet


148 x 85 cm (58 1/4 x 33 7/16 in.); Legacy dimension: 0.742 x 0.479m

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Distemper on cotton

Not On View





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

Painting with decorative borders, mounted on support panel. Would have originally been in thangka format. Golden Shakyamuni sits in meditation posture with his right hand in varada mudra. On the palms of his hands and feet are chakras. To his right and left, birds sit on blooming lotuses. Above him, small deities appear in yabyum, and there is a group fo three lamas. Below him, small figures of Mahakala, Jambhala, and an offering bowl filled with traditional offerings. Surrounding the central figure are scenes, possibly from Jatakas, including an image of a monastic type who has allowed his legs to be eaten by demons (lower right) and a scene of a monk flying away with a bowl of offerings (lower left). High-quality silk brocade mounts and unusual silk veil woven with Tibetan inscriptions. Reverse image of stupa with lengthy inscriptions.


On reverse, in red and black ink, an image of a stupa with lengthy inscriptions on and around it in Tibetan (to be read). Also a brief Tibetan inscription embroidered into the mount on the back of the upper wood dowel: "gyas-gnyis-pa" (= number 82?).
Silk veil woven with Tibetan inscriptions, probably standard mantras, but to be read.


1907, Edward W. Forbes, Cambridge, MA; 1907, gift of Forbes to the MFA. (Accession Date: July 11, 1907)

Credit Line

Gift of Edward W. Forbes