Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Shakyamuni Buddha - Life Story (Single Composition)

ཤཱཀྱ་ཐུབ་པ། 释迦牟尼佛
(item no. 31523)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Buddha

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Shakyamuni Buddha (Tibetan: sha kya thu pa, sang gye, English: the Enlightened One, Sage of the Shakya Clan): surrounded by vignettes portraying the twelve major deeds of his life.

In a formal posture, traditional in appearance, golden in colour, he looks forward with the eyes slightly closed in a meditative gaze. The dark blue-black hair curled in small tufts is piled on the crown of the head in a large mound (Sanskrit: ushnisha), the crest of that adorned with a single gold ornament. Between the long tapered eyebrows is a single dot (Skt.: urna) and the earlobes are long and pierced; the neck adorned with the beauty marks of three horizontal lines. The right arm is outstretched with the hand placed across the knee and the fingers pointed downward in the Earth touching mudra (gesture). The left hand in the lap with the palm upward in the mudra of meditation holds a black and gold trimmed begging bowl filled with myrobalan fruit. A large orange robe covers the upper body and wraps about the legs. The lower body is attired in a red robe tied with a dark sash. The two legs are folded together in vajra posture, right over left, above a large multi-coloured lotus seat and tiered throne. A blue-orange nimbus and dark green aureola surround the body and head.

Twelve Deeds:
1. The bodhisattva in the form of a white elephant leaving the Tushita heaven.
2. Entering the womb of queen Maya Devi.
3. The birth takes place in the Lumbini Grove.
4. Learning the worldly arts.
5. Observing birth, sickness, old age and death.
6. Leaving the palace and becoming a self-ordained monk.
7. Performing austerities.
8. Seated beneath the bodhi tree.
9. Defeat of the Four Maras.
10. Achieving Buddhahood.
11. Turning the Wheel of Dharma.
12. Passing into maha-pari-nirvana.

Jeff Watt 7-2015

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Shakyamuni Buddha: Life Story Main Page
Shakyamuni Buddha: Main Page
Shakyamuni Buddha: Life-story (Single Composition)
Collection: Bonhams New York (Painting & Sculpture. September 14, 2015)
Collection: Private 23