Requires Photography

Vajravarahi and Herukas

19th century?

Object Place: Tibet


82 x 79 cm (32 5/16 x 31 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Distemper and gold on cotton, mounted with printed cotton and wood dowels

Not On View





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

Red-skinned Vajravarahi dances at center, a boar’s head projecting from the right side of her head. She holds a chopper in her raised right hand, and a skull cup in her left. A khatvanga rests in the crook of her left arm. She is surrounded by a halo and flames. Her left foot stomps on a naked, prostrate corpse. Her right leg is raised and bent. She wears a necklace of human heads and other ornaments. Above her, seated cross-legged, is white-skinned Vajrasattva, holding a bell and a vajra. To the sides are six four-armed Herukas, each holding a skull cup and chopper and a damaru and a khatvanga. Their colors are (clockwise from lower left): red, white, green, red?, green, and blue. Each steps on a naked, prostrate figure and wears ornaments similar to Vajravarahi’s. Below is an offering bowl with flowers, along with small royal figures giving offerings. At the center of the base of the image are offerings of jewels, earrings, tusks. The background shows a green and leafy landscape.


1921, purchased by Ananda K. Coomaraswamy (b. 1887 - d. 1947) for the MFA. (Accession date: August 4, 1921)

Credit Line

Marianne Brimmer Fund