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Entries for month: March 2012

An Unusual Bodhisattva Painting Set

March 26, 2012 ·

The over-all subject and context of these two bodhisattva paintings are not yet identified which makes it difficult to suggest how many compositions would make up the complete painting set. The central figure in the two compositions is likely to be Avalokiteshvara or Maitreya. It is also possible that the paintings belong to a set depicting the Eight Great Bodhisattvas.

Although strikingly Chinese in style, the two paintings here are very similar in many ways to the Dalai Lama Painting Set dated to the early 1800s.

Tags: painting · additions

Miracles at Shravasti: From a Set of Paintings

March 25, 2012 ·

According to the life story of Shakyamuni Buddha he once stayed at Shravasti in Northern India and over the course of fifteen days performed fifteen miracles or magical displays. This painting is from a set of at least five compositions depicting all fifteen miracles - three miracles per painting. Along the bottom of the composition are three four-line verses identifying the day and the miracle - one for each of the episodes portrayed above. It is possible that this painting belongs to a much larger set of compositions depicting in great detail the life story of Shakyamuni Buddha. No other paintings from this set have so far been identified.

Tags: painting · additions

Tangtong Gyalpo Life Story Painting

March 18, 2012 ·

A painting depicting the life story of Tangtong Gyalpo, along with details, has been added to the Tangtong Gyalpo Main Page. This composition along with three others from the same set are currently the only known examples of the subject. A large mural painting of the life story is known to have existed in Tibet and it is very possible that other mural depictions might be identified in Bhutan.

Tags: updates · Sets · additions

The 6th Dalai Lama: Tsangyang Gyatso

March 17, 2012 ·

Tsangyang Gyatso, the 6th Dalai Lama, is certainly the most controversial of the Dalai Lama incarnations. Was he wrongly chosen? Was he the previous abbot of Shalu Monastery? Was he the illigitimate son of the 5th Dalai Lama? Was he murdered by the Mongols, or did he live a long life according to what is written in the secret biography?

Tags: updates · additions · Biography

Pema Lingpa: "Treasure Revealer of Bhutan"

March 17, 2012 ·

Pema Lingpa is one of the most famous Nyingma Terton's of Bhutan. His legacy extends throughout Bhutan, Tibet and the Himalayan regions. The murals located on the third floor of the Lhukang Temple situated behind the Potala Palace in Lhasa are believed to depict tantric systems based on the writings of Pema Lingpa.

Tags: updates · Murals · additions · Bhutan

Cityscapes & Monasteries - Updated

March 14, 2012 ·

Cityscapes & Monastery Plans are a specific subject of Himalayan and Tibetan style painting. The most common cities, or towns, reproduced are Lhasa, Shigatse, Samye Monastery in Central Tibet and Labrang Monastery in Amdo. Other locations can be found but are not reproduced as often. Sacred sites and pilgrimage sites depicting the route of circumambulation can also be found reproduced in art.

Tags: updates · Architecture · additions

Ragavajra Ganapati - Images Added

March 13, 2012 ·

Ragavajra Ganapati originates in Tibet with the tradition of Jowo Atisha in the 11th century. In general, Buddhist forms of Ganapati function as wealth deities within the Tantric system. This specific form of Ganapati is clearly the most sexually explicit and possibly the most 'pornographically outrageous' in all of Tantric Buddhism. The best work is certainly the sculpture with clear distinctions between the three faces along with detail and movement in the limbs seen from the front and back. Three images of a mural have also been added from one of the smaller chapels in the Gyantse Kumbum.

Tags: updates · Sculpture · iconography · additions · Tibet

Tsatsa Molds of Dungkar Cave, West Tibet - Images Added

March 12, 2012 ·

Tsatsa Molds are created for a variety of religious or community purposes. Sometimes the tsatsa clay is mixed with the ashes of holy teachers. Tsatsa can be made from a number of different elements but clay is the most common. The pieces exhibited here are mostly Indian in origin yet found in the Dungkar Cave of West Tibet.

Tags: Sculpture · additions · Tibet

Diagrammatic Art - Updated

March 11, 2012 ·

Diagrammatic Art is art, primarily paintings and murals, intended to convey large amounts, or portions,  of highly codified information to the viewer. The principal categories of Diagrammatic art are:
(1) Charts
(2) Mandalas
(3) Refuge Field
(4) Wheel of Life
(5) Meditation Instructions
(6) Demoness of Tibet

Tags: art · additions

Nechung Monastery, Tibet - Images Added

March 10, 2012 ·

Nechung Monastery is located just West of Lhasa below the much larger Drepung Monastery. It is most famous as the home of the Nechung Oracle. The images are predominantly of the fabulous large format brightly coloured murals depicting the retinue figures in the entourage of the worldly deity Pehar Gyalpo. The images have been added to the Ariana Maki Photographic Archive.

Tags: Murals · additions · Tibet