Requires Photography

Twenty-one Taras

19th century

Object Place: Tibet


131 x 86 cm (51 9/16 x 33 7/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Distemper and gold on cotton, mounted with silk brocades, wood dowels, brass knobs

Not On View





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

A central figure of Green Tara is surrounded by 21 figures of Tara. Green Tara is seated in the posture of royal ease with her right hand in varada mudra holding the stems of pink and blue lotuses. Her left hand is in the 3 refuge mudra holding the stem of a blue lotus. In her crown is an image of Amitabha Buddha. She wears elaborate brocaded draperies and she emanates golden light with a rainbow aureole surrounded by fruits and foliage. Below Green Tara are 3 monks offering a chakra, mandala, and anjali mudra. To her right is a yellow Bodhisattva holding a flywhisk and a blue lotus and to her left is a semi-wrathful blue deity wearing a tiger skin and holding a chopper and skull cup. At the top center is a Dalai Lama, along with Atisha (wearing red hat, with pillow and stupa) and various lamas, mahasiddhas, and offering-bearing apsarases.


On reverse, in Tibetan, in red ink: the usual mantras plus a long inscription - to be read.
Also, on reverse of top dowel, a brief Tibetan inscription.
On obverse, in Tibetan, in gold paint: small identifying inscriptions next to many of the subsidiary figures.


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

Credit Line

Gift of Miss Lucy T. Aldrich