961
961
A THANGKA DEPICTING MAHAKALA Tibet, 17th Century
Estimate
200,000300,000
LOT SOLD. 150,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
961
A THANGKA DEPICTING MAHAKALA Tibet, 17th Century
Estimate
200,000300,000
LOT SOLD. 150,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The Richard R. & Magdalena Ernst Collection of Himalayan Art

|
New York

A THANGKA DEPICTING MAHAKALA Tibet, 17th Century
with sixteen hands holding an assortment of ritual implements, and four wrathful faces including a buffalo head at the rear, clasping his consort with his principal hands in humkara mudra, both deities wearing bone jewellery and flayed tiger skin aprons, and trampling Yama and deities prostrate on a lotus throne, with a flaming nimbus behind, Vajradhara above flanked by Chakrasamvara and four-armed Mahakala to the left, Bhutadamara Vajrapani and two-armed Mahakala to the right, three further multi-armed forms of Mahakala with their consorts below, all against a black background with ritual implements, attendants, mythical animals and birds amongst smoke and flames and seas of blood

Himalayan Art Resources item no. 35976.


29  1/2  by 21  7/8  in. (75 by 53 cm)
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Catalogue Note

The masterpiece of Tibetan nagthang or black-ground painting portrays rare forms of the Buddhist Protector according to the root text and system of the Mahakala Tantraraja Nama, in the tradition of Abhayakara Gupta (d. 1125), tantric master and abbot of Vikramashila monastery in Bihar, see Jeff Watt, Himalayan Art Resources item no. 35976. No other example is known from this period.

The thangka is painted with consummate skill in the expression of wrath, ferocious movement and the three-dimensionality and weight of the central figures. The tiger skin aprons are rendered with well observed delicacy. Careful preparation of the canvas and the use of finely ground pigments have insured the lasting suppleness of the support and adherence of the pigment, resulting in the exceptional condition of the work. The thangka is mounted in Chinese brocades with a pleated valance and veils of multi-coloured streamers, in the manner favoured in Tibet for secret esoteric images.

The Richard R. & Magdalena Ernst Collection of Himalayan Art

|
New York