|Date Range||1800 - 1899|
|Material||Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton|
|Collection||Asian Art Museum of San Francisco|
Virupaksha (Tibetan: chen mi zang): Guardian of the Western Direction and King of the Nagas. This painting is likely to be from a set of four paintings depicting the Four Guardian Kings intended to hang at the entrance to a small temple.
From the set of the Four Guardian Kings of the Directions the other three are Vaishravana - the leader, Virudhaka and Dhritarashtra. Traditionally painted in association with the Buddha and Sixteen Great Arhats the full group would comprise a total of twenty-five figures: the buddha Shakyamuni together with the two foremost disciples - Shariputra and Maudgalyayana, the Sixteen Arhats, the attendant Dharmata and the patron Hvashang, together with the Four Kings.
"Well protecting the Buddha's Teachings with heroic strength of arms; homage to the Kings of the Four Directions, North, South, East and West." (Sakya liturgical verse).
Jeff Watt 9-99 [updated 6-2009]