Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Tara (Buddhist Deity) - Green

སྒྲོལ་མ། སྣང་བརྙན་ཡོངས། 度母(本尊)(全像)
(item no. 65209)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1300 - 1399
Lineages Buddhist
Material Metal
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Peaceful

Gender: Female

Interpretation / Description

Green Tara. (Tibetan: drol ma jang ku). (See HAR #1716).

A Buddhist sculpture such as this is created using a lost wax technique. With wax as the medium the artist first crafts the figure, such as Tara, with all the features. A clay mold is then tightly packed around this finished wax figure. Finally metal is poured into the base. The molten metal burns the wax away. After cooling, the mold is broken and the metal image is cleaned and polished. Precious stones and gold gilt are sometimes applied along with the unique Tibetan custom of painting the faces and hair of most sculpture. The consecration of the sculpture is done last, filled with precious substances and prayers written on paper, it is then sealed, with an auspicious symbol etched on the bottom. According to religious custom only now is the object worthy of ritual worship.

"On an and eight petalled lotus...is Holy Tara, reddish-green in colour, one face and two hands. The right [hand] is in the gesture of supreme generosity and the left holds with the thumb and ring finger a lily to the heart. Wearing beautiful jewel ornaments and various silks, the hair as a crown, seated in a posture with the right leg extended and the left drawn up. On the right [side] is orange Marichi holding in the left [hand] a branch of the Ashoka tree. On the left is black Ekajati holding a skullcup in the left. Both hold in the right [hands] a fly-whisk; adorned with jewels and beautiful silk clothing, with the two legs placed equally in a standing manner." (Thartse Panchen Namka Chime).

Jeff Watt 5-2005

Related Items
Exhibition Appearances
Exhibition: Female Buddhas at RMA
Exhibition: RMA Masterworks, January 28th, 2021

Publication: Selection of Works - Sculpture (RMA)

Thematic Sets
Collection of RMA: Best of Collection (Sculpture)
Sculpture: Monastic Period (Masterworks)
Buddhist Deity: Tara, Green (Sculpture Masterworks)
Buddhist Deity: Tara, Green (Tibet, Sculpture Masterworks)
Sculpture: Monastic Period (Tibet, 13-14th century)
Sculpture: Metal
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Sculpture (Gallery 1)
Buddhist Deity: Tara, Green Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Tara (sculpture)
Collection of RMA: Selected Sculpture
Region: India, Pala Period (Metal Sculpture)
Sculpture: Monastic Period (Tara)
Sculpture: Monastic Period (Peaceful Deity Figures)