|Origin Location||Eastern Tibet|
|Date Range||1800 - 1899|
|Material||Ground Mineral Pigment, Fine Gold Line on Cotton|
|Collection||Rubin Museum of Art|
|Catalogue #||acc.# F1996.3.1|
|Painting School||Palpung / Situ|
Rangjung Dorje, the 3rd Karmapa, (1284-1339): Buddhist master, scholar and teacher to the Mongol court of China.
Dignified in a formal pose he holds the two hands to the heart in the mudra of Dharma teaching while grasping the stems of two lotus flowers blossoming at each side supporting an upright gold vajra and bell. Atop the head is the invisible black vajra crown - seen only by those with spiritual purity. Wearing the orange patchwork robes of a fully ordained monk and a meditation cloak he sits with the legs in vajra posture above an ornate cushioned throne with a blue backrest. A small table of personal items stands in front. Behind, a diverse landscape of snowy mountains, clouds, streams and a pool unfolds to meet with a flat grassy expanse in front.
At the top left is the beautiful wisdom goddess of poetry and learning, Sarasvati, white in colour with one face and two hands holding a vina (stringed instrument) and seated in a crouching posture atop a moon disc and blue utpala flower surrounded by rays of light. At the right are two lamas wearing monastic robes and seated cross-legged on simple mats. (The lower lama wears a red cap similar to the black vajra crown of the Karmapas and is likely the first Shamar Rinpoche). At the lower right a monk seated beneath a flowering tree examines a book while a standing attendant monk extends the hands to receive the offerings from a Mongol layman presenting gifts of the seven precious jewels to the Karmapa.
Jeff Watt 2-99