Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Shakyamuni Buddha

ཤཱཀྱ་ཐུབ་པ། 释迦牟尼佛
(item no. 31219)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1600 - 1699
Lineages Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Interpretation / Description

Shakyamuni Buddha (Tibetan: sha kya thu pa, sang gye, English: the Enlightened One, Sage of the Shakya Clan) together with the two foremost students Shariputra and Maudgalyayana and the 16 Arhats surrounding, and Dharmata, Hvashang and the worldly Kings of the Four Directions along the bottom.

The group of figures commonly known as Shakyamuni and the Sixteen Arhats represent the Hinayana Tradition of Buddhism within the visual culture of Himalayan and Tibetan Buddhism.

In total there are twenty-five figures commonly represented as a single subject. If the figures are divided between several compositions then there can be sets of paintings numbering three, five, seven, nine, or up to twenty-three paintings in total (the two principal students are always depicted standing or sitting alongside the Buddha). Painting sets of Shakyamuni and the Arhats along with the individual paintings from broken sets comprise a very large proportion of all of Himalayan and Tibetan painting throughout the world.

Jeff Watt 2-2008 [image added 2-2014]

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Subject: Torana, Shakyamuni Buddha (Early Animal Depictions)
Collection: Tamashige Tibet Collection
Shakyamuni Buddha & the Sixteen Elders (Single Composition)
Shakyamuni Buddha: Main Page
Shakyamuni Buddha: Early Paintings