945
945

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE AUSTRIAN COLLECTION

A RED GROUND THANGKA DEPICTING TWO ARHATS Tibet, 17th Century
Estimate
10,00015,000
LOT SOLD. 17,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
945

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE AUSTRIAN COLLECTION

A RED GROUND THANGKA DEPICTING TWO ARHATS Tibet, 17th Century
Estimate
10,00015,000
LOT SOLD. 17,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art

|
New York

A RED GROUND THANGKA DEPICTING TWO ARHATS Tibet, 17th Century
the arhat Chudapantaka with hands folded gently in his lap in dhyanasana mudra, seated in a three-quarter posture clad in layers of brocaded robes on an elaborate throne chair supported by white snow lions, covered with embroidered silk with carved dragon heads flanking each side, devotees at the base making offerings, the arhat Kalika holding a ring in his left hand, seated with the right leg crossed over the left on a rock cut surface adorned with embroidered silks and wearing a silk sanghati in the style of the Buddha Shakyamuni, with Vaishravana at his side, with Shakyamuni represented in four separate manifestations above, White Tara represented in a white nimbus below, all set amidst a palace complex, rich foliage, snow-peaked mountains on a red-ground mineral background

Himalayan Art Resources item no. 13637.


25 by 18 3/8  in. (63.5  by 46.7 cm.)
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Acquired by family inheritance. 

Catalogue Note

Arhat paintings are typically painted within sets, an initial practice coming from Tibet, and then heavily adopted into the canon of Chinese Buddhist painting. This arhat painting comes from a larger set of nine or ten, one of which is published in Pratapaditya Pal's Aesthetic Adventures, Chicago, 2003, p. 258, cat. 170. Two thangkas from this series, including the published image, come from the collection of Navin Kumar.

This particular series, according to Dr. Pal, is an early example of the portrayal of arhat sets, suggested by the lack of definitive attributes attached to each of the arhats. The lack of a fixed iconography as well as the stylistic choices suggests not only that this was an early prototype, but also that this was painted during a period of experimentation of this genre.

Hence, the chosen color palette and the naturalistic style in this set are unique within the canon. Both of these qualities Pal states make these "an unusual example of Tibetan arhat painting." The deep red ground background creates a richness and vividness within a scene that can only be described as preternatural, far above any earthly realm. In addition, the jewel tones including emerald green, sapphire, plum, tangerine, grays and browns all highlighted deliberately with gold allow for a more nuanced and delicate rendering of forms. The use of sinuous and curvilinear lines used along the brocades, swirling waters, bending leaves, rocky mountains imbues the painting with a quality of ethereal movement, turning the landscape into a mythical and intangible world of beauty.

Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art

|
New York