Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Indian Teacher - Gunaprabha

རྒྱ་གར་གྱི་མཁས་པ། མཁན་ཆེན། 印度的祖师
(item no. 438)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Buddhist
Size 52.07x35.56cm (20.50x14in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Fine Gold Line on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# F1997.31.9
Painting School Palpung / Situ
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Monastic

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Gunaprabha and Shakyaprabha: two scholars that belong to the group known as the Six Ornaments and Two Excellent Ones of the Southern Continent; with the bodhisattva Samantabhadra holding a blue vase in the sky above.

Six Ornaments Outline Page

Gunaprabha, contemplative in appearance, intent in thought, sits firmly upright. The two hands are held up to the heart the right performing the mudra (gesture) of Dharma explication and the left holding a religious folio book. Wrapped in a red patchwork upper robe sewn from discarded strips of cloth and an orange robe below, he has an aureola of pink ethereal light encircling the head. In a western style with the legs extended in front he sits atop a square seat, sparsely decorated, with billowing clouds rising behind.

Shakyaprabha, at the lower right, wears similar orange and red attire, holding upraised the right hand and supports himself with the left pressed to the ground. Seated in a relaxed posture atop a blue mat he looks upward with the head wreathed by an aureole of pink. At the left a traveler dressed in white with a thatched wicker shoulder pack gazes above as a deer with large antlers grazes on fresh cut leaves stored in the pack.

At the top left of the composition, the bodhisattva Samantabhadra, with long black hair and white garments, stands on cushion-like clouds, holding upraised a large blue vase. At the right, rocky cliffs of purple and green rise upward and the foreground is sparse with a sloping grassy plain.

Jeff Watt 5-99

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 2
Subject: Six Ornaments (Palpung Compositions)
Subject: Six Ornaments (Situ Composition 3)
Iconography: Monastic Appearance