|Origin Location||Eastern Tibet|
|Date Range||1700 - 1799|
|Material||Ground Mineral Pigment, Fine Gold Line on Cotton|
|Collection||Rubin Museum of Art|
|Catalogue #||acc.# F1997.1.2|
|Painting School||Karma Gardri|
Shakyamuni Buddha (Tibetan: sha kya thu pa. English: Sage of the Shakya Clan, the Enlightened One): along with buddha Amitabha above, surrounded by the 16 Arhats, 2 Attendants and the 4 Guardians of the Directions.
Dark gold in colour with one face and two hands, his hair is dark blue in colour with a topknot crowned with a gold ornament. Attired in orange robes with a green liner and sash, the right shoulder is covered leaving the length of the arm bare. The legs are folded in vajra posture with the right over left. The right hand is placed with the palm down across the knee in the mudra (gesture) calling the Earth to witness the moment of enlightenment. The left hand rests in the lap in the mudra of meditation. Surrounded by a nimbus of blue light rays forming a sphere and a greenish areola, he sits above a moon disc and multi-coloured lotus blossom atop a snow lion supported throne. Standing at the left side is the monk Shariputra and at the right Maudgalayana,, both holding a khakkhara staff in the right hand and a begging bowl in the left. Arranged on the ground in front, a golden Dharma wheel is surrounded by various offerings of precious jewels, gold, ivory, conch shells and flower vases.
At the top center is the buddha Amitabha, red in colour, performing the mudra of meditation while holding a begging bowl in the lap, wreathed with ribbons of rainbow light. Seated along each side and below are the 16 Arhats - foremost students of Shakyamuni buddha. Each carries a recognizable symbol or performs a unique mudra. All wear red and orange monastic robes with the right arm bare, seated on square mats. At the lower center below the arhats are the two attendants. At the left is Hvashang, plump, well attired in white robes with blue trim. On the right is Dharmatala, with black hair piled on the top of the head, wearing dark blue garments with white pants and green boots.
Along the bottom, youthful in appearance and seated, are the 4 Guardians of the Directions. On the left is Virupaksha, orange in colour, holding a caitya (reliquary symbol), Virudhaka, blue, holding a sword. On the right is Dhritarashtra, white, holding a lute - stringed instrument. In the corner is the leader, Vaishravana, golden, holding a victory banner and mongoose. All are adorned with peaceful ornaments and wear variously coloured silks and scarves.
Jeff Watt 3-99