Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Shakyamuni Buddha

ཤཱཀྱ་ཐུབ་པ། 释迦牟尼佛
(item no. 539)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1600 - 1699
Lineages Gelug
Size 60.96x41.91cm (24x16.50in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Fine Gold Line on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# F1996.32.2
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Interpretation / Description

Shakyamuni Buddha (Tibetan: sha kya tu pa, sang gye): representing the famous sculptural image in the Jowo Lhakang in Lhasa, Tibet.

Golden in colour with one face and two hands, the right hand performs the mudra of earth witness and the left placed in the lap supports a black begging bowl. Adorned with a crown of gold, earrings, necklaces, bracelets and anklets he wears rich red brocades while seated in the full vajra posture. Above a moon disc and dark blue lotus blossom atop a golden throne, in front of an ornate temple, he sits surrounded by a blue-orange nimbus and dark green aureole. On a table in front are flower vases, a begging bowl, a mandala plate piled high with white rice and eight offering bowls.

At the left stands the peaceful bodhisattva of compassion, Avalokiteshvara, with eleven heads and eight hands, atop a white lotus. At the right is Lama Tsongkapa with the two hands performing the teaching mudra at the heart while holding the stems of two lotus flowers supporting a sword and book. Wearing a yellow pandita hat and monastic robes he is seated in vajra posture above a white lotus blossom. At the bottom left a buddha figure wearing the same regal attire of gold jewelry and ornate brocades performs the mudra of Dharma teaching. At the right a standing buddha, in the same attire, blesses a monk with the touch of the right hand to the crown of the head and with the left performs the mudra of blessing. At the bottom center within the walled enclosure is a table of alternating offering bowls and 'tormas' (stylized food) presented before a large mandala plate piled with rice.

Jeff Watt 2-99

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Shakyamuni Buddha: Main Page
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 3
Shakyamuni Buddha: Jowo Depictions Page (Lhasa)
Subject: Art Depicted in Art (Paintings of Known Sculpture)
Subject: Art Depicted in Art
Subject: Pilgrimage Art Main Page (Tourist & Souvenir Art)