Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Tara (Buddhist Deity) - (Suryagupta, 21 Taras)

སྒྲོལ་མ། སྣང་བརྙན་ཡོངས། 度母(本尊)(全像)
(item no. 88656)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1300 - 1399
Size 78.11x63.50cm (30.75x25in)
Material Ground: Cotton
Collection Asia Society
Catalogue # acc. #1991.001, Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Acquisitions Fund
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Peaceful

Gender: Female

TBRC: W25346

Interpretation / Description

Green Tara accompanied by two standing attendants. At the upper left is Shakyamuni Buddha. At the upper right is White Tara.

In the registers occupying the upper half of the composition are the Twenty-one Tars of the Suryagupta Traditions. In the registers of the lower half of the composition are the Twenty-one Taras according to the Atisha Tradition.

At the bottom center are two donor figures with a Tibetan teacher wearing monastic garments and a pandita hat seated directly above.

Jeff Watt 2-2021

"In Sanskrit, Tara means "star" or "constellation," and thus her name emphasizes her role as a guide and saviouress on the Buddhist path to enlightenment. There are many forms of Tara (forty-six different manifestations of her appear on this painting), but the central image, Green Tara, can be identified by her posture, with her right leg pendant, and by the blue lotuses she holds, one open and one closed, in either hand. Above her left shoulder sits her other main manifestation in Tibet, White Tara, while Shakyamuni Buddha sits above her right shoulder. Green Tara is sumptuously dressed in an array of silk robes and wears pants decorated with finely drawn miniature Taras in roundels. Most of her golden jewelry and her mandorla are created in relief and would have shimmered in the light of yak-butter lamps. The patrons of this painting, a man and a woman, appear in the center of the bottom row of figures, making offerings to Green Tara. Above them sits a monk from the Sakya order of Tibetan Buddhism, possibly the person who consecrated the painting." (Asia Society).

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Buddhist Deity: Tara (Atisha Tradition)
Buddhist Deity: Tara (Atisha Tradition, Masterworks)
Buddhist Deity: Tara Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Tara, Suryagupta Tradition (Masterworks)
Buddhist Deity: Tara, Twenty-0ne (Suryagupta Tradition)
Buddhist Deity: Tara (Suryagupta Tradition)
Collection of Asia Society, New York
Buddhist Deity: Tara, Twenty-one Taras (Surya, Single Composition)
Buddhist Deity: Tara, Twenty-one Taras (Atisha, Single Composition)
Buddhist Deity: Tara (Compendium Paintings)
Buddhist Deity: Tara Masterworks
Buddhist Deity: Tara, Twenty-one Taras (Masterworks)
Buddhist Deity: Tara, Green Iconography
Subject: Suryagupta (Twenty-one Taras Single Composition)
Buddhist Deity: Tara, Twenty-one Taras Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Tara, Green (Painting Masterworks)