Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Bodhisattva - (multiple figures)

བྱང་ཆུབ་སེམས་དཔའ། 菩萨 (主页)
(item no. 209)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1500 - 1599
Lineages Uncertain
Size 58.42x48.26cm (23x19in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# P1995.26.1
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Peaceful

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Avalokiteshvara and Maitreya (Tibetan: chen re zi dang cham pa): the bodhisattvas of compassion and love.

Avalokiteshvara: white in colour and peaceful in appearance, with one face and two hands, the dark hair is piled on the crown of the head and some falls loose across the shoulders. Placed at the heart in the mudra of Dharma teaching, the right holds the stem of a white lotus flower blossoming over the shoulder. Adorned with a five-pointed crown of gold and jewels, red ribbons are fastened at the ends, and large gold earrings hang from the lobes. A choker, necklace, bracelets and anklets decorate the body. Attired with a long green scarf and a blue and pink upper garment, he wears a skirt of multiple layered colours tied with a yellow sash. Atop a moon disc, multi-coloured lotus seat rising from a blue pond below, he stands surrounded by a blue nimbus and dark green areola ringed with clouds of pink, green, yellow and blue.

"Unstained by faults, a body white of colour, with the perfect Buddha as a crown, seeing beings with the eye of compassion, to Avalokiteshvara, I bow." (Sakya liturgical verse).

Maitreya: the future buddha, orange in colour, with the two hands placed in the Dharma teaching mudra at the heart. The right hand holds the stem of a lotus flower blossoming at the side supporting a gold water flask. Adorned with gold and jewels, scarves and garments of silk, he stands above a lotus seat surrounded by radiant light and colourful clouds.

"The fire of great love burns the fuel of anger, the light of pristine awareness removes the darkness of ignorance. To that Dharma Regent protecting beings and dwelling in Tushita, I pay homage." (Sakya liturgical verse).

At the top are three buddha figures resembling the buddha Amitabha, orange in colour, each seated with the hands in the mudra of meditation in the lap holding a black begging bowl. Ringed with spheres of light, they sit above lotus blossom seats and billowing clouds.

Jeff Watt 9-99

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 6
Buddhist Figure: Bodhisattva Main Page
Buddhist Figure: Bodhisattva (Miscellaneous)