Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Tara (Buddhist Deity)

སྒྲོལ་མ། སྣང་བརྙན་ཡོངས། 度母(本尊)(全像)
(item no. 77119)
Origin Location Eastern Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Publication: Wisdom Publications, Calender
Painting School Karma Gardri
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Tara Protecting from the Eight Fears. This composition belongs to a nine painting set depicting each of the Taras and the eight fears. A central painting is added to the group of eight in order to have a focus in the middle of the set with four paintings hanging on the right of center and four paintings on the left.

At the upper left corner is the meditational deity Akshobhyavajra Guhyasamaja. At the upper right is a monastic figure. At the middle left a traveller is being threatened by a lion. At the middle right Tara is protecting the traveller.

In the lower composition various narrative vignettes are played out that relate to the lion and traveller.

Only two compositions in this painting style are known at this time. The other painting which is not yet on the HAR website is of the same subject as the Tara from the Guimet Museum pictured above. The other composition depicts Tara protecting from the fear of ghosts/demons. Although it is not clear if the two paintings belong to the same set of nine paintings, or two different sets of nine, it is very likely that the artist is the same.

The style of painting is Khamdri from Eastern Tibet and the Chamdo region specifically. There are similarities between this artist and the works of Khazi Lhazo the famous late 18th, early 19th century, artist of Dragyab Monastery.

Jeff Watt 3-2007 [updated 6-2014]

Wisdom Calendar 2005 - January (full catalog list)

Related Items
Publication: Wisdom Publications: Calendar Collection

Thematic Sets
Buddhist Deity: Tara Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Tara (Miscellaneous Iconography Masterworks)