Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Vaishravana (Buddhist Protector) - Riding a Lion (Retinue Figure)

རྣམ་ཐོས་སྲས། བྱང་ཕྱོགས་སྐྱོང་། 北方多闻天王
(item no. 73902)
Origin Location Tibet
Lineages Buddhist
Material Wood
Collection Nicholas Roerich Museum
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Vaishravana Retinue Figure. The deity Vaishravana Riding a Lion has a retinue of eight armour clad horseman. Seven of the eight horseman face forward but one always has the head turned away. The composition of Vaishravana and the eight horseman are best seen in the paintings. The sculpture sets found in Western museums are typically of individual figures and rarely a complete set. Because of this the subject is often miss-identified.

The subject is most popular in Central Asia, Tibet, Mongolia and China where the majority of the paintings come from. The clothing and attire worn by each figure generally follows a Central Asian or Chinese style.

Jeff Watt 4-2009

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Collection of Nicholas Roerich Museum
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Buddhist Deity: Vaishravana (Retinue Figures)