937
937
A THANGKA DEPICTING THE MANDALAS OF BUDDHAKAPALA AND CHRITRASENA, BUDDHAKAPALA, MAHAMAYA, YOGAMBARA AND JNANADAKINI Tibet, Circa 1570
Estimate
250,000350,000
LOT SOLD. 519,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
937
A THANGKA DEPICTING THE MANDALAS OF BUDDHAKAPALA AND CHRITRASENA, BUDDHAKAPALA, MAHAMAYA, YOGAMBARA AND JNANADAKINI Tibet, Circa 1570
Estimate
250,000350,000
LOT SOLD. 519,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The Richard R. & Magdalena Ernst Collection of Himalayan Art

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New York

A THANGKA DEPICTING THE MANDALAS OF BUDDHAKAPALA AND CHRITRASENA, BUDDHAKAPALA, MAHAMAYA, YOGAMBARA AND JNANADAKINI Tibet, Circa 1570
depicting the twenty-five deity mandala of Buddhakapala and consort Chitrasena on the upper left, the nine deity Buddhakapala mandala upper right, the fifty-seven deity Yogambara mandala lower left, the thirteen deity Jnanadakini mandala lower right, the five deity Mahamaya mandala in the centre flanked by Ngorchen Kunga Zangpo on the left and Jangsem Lodro Rinchen on the right, the eight cemeteries interspersed between the mandalas, and with Tibetan inscriptions above and below the composition

Himalayan Art Resources item no. 59864.


21  1/2  by 18  7/8  in. (55 by 48 cm)
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Provenance

Sotheby's New York, 2 June 1992, lot 41. 

Exhibited

“The Circle of Bliss: Buddhist Meditational Art”, Los Angeles County Museum of Art,  5 October-11 January 2003; and Columbus Museum of Art, 6 February-9 May 2004.

Literature

Amy Heller, Tibetan Art: Tracing the Development of Spritual Ideals and Art in Tibet, Milan, 1999, cat. no. 91.

John C. Huntington and Dinah Bangdel, The Circle of Bliss: Buddhist Meditational Art, Chicago, 2003, p. 324, cat. no 90.

Catalogue Note

The two following paintings (lots 937 and 939) were commissioned in memory of the eleventh Abbot of Ngor monastery, Sengye Senge (1505-1569) by Drangti Namkha Palzang (1535-1602), who would become the thirteenth Abbot of Ngor; see Amy Heller, Tibetan Art: Tracing the Development of Spiritual Ideals and Art in Tibet 600-2000 A. D., Milan, 1999, p. 150.

The paintings are the tenth and eleventh in a series of mandala depicting deities from the Vajravali meditational system according to the Indian pandita Abhayakara Gupta: three other paintings from the series survive, see Jeff Watt, Himalayan Art Resources item no. 59875.

The second painting of the series, formerly in the Doris Wiener Collection, depicts the mandala of Hevajra; see Christie’s New York, 20 March 2012, lot 131. The twelfth painting in the series depicts the Dharmadhatuvagishvara mandala, see Detlef-Ingo Lauf, Secret Revelations of Tibetan Thangkas, Freiburg im Breisgau, 1976, pl. 26. Another mandala from the series in a private collection illustrates the cycle of Vajrayogini, Watt, op. cit.

The set is likely to have been painted around 1570, following the demise of Sengye Senge. Ngor monastery has a long history of producing sets of Vajravali mandalas, beginning shortly after its foundation in 1429 when Kunga Zangpo (1387-1456) commissioned a series in honour of his teacher Saszang Phagpa, see David Jackson, A History of Tibetan Painting, Vienna, 1996, p. 82.

For a comprehensive discourse on the symbolism of the mandala of Kalachakra, see John Huntington and Dina Bangdel, The Circle of Bliss: Buddhist Meditational Art, Chicago, 2003, pp. 483-6, cat. no. 148.

Per Amy Heller, Tibetan Art: Tracing the Development of Spiritual Ideals and Art in Tibet 600-2000 A. D., Milan, 1999, p. 150, the upper Tibetan inscription identifies the series and can be translated as follows: 

“[The] tenth of the paintings of the (Vajra)vali”

The lower Tibetan inscription identifies the patron and his guru:

Made in reverent homage by Drangti Panchen Namkai Palzang to honour the memory of Vajradhara Sangye Senge”.

The Richard R. & Magdalena Ernst Collection of Himalayan Art

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New York