Himalayan Art Resources

Iconography: Eleven Types of Deities by Appearance

Buddhist Iconography Visual Categories

Eleven Types of Deities By Appearance:
(1) Peaceful Appearance
(2) Semi-peaceful/semi-wrathful Appearance
(3) Wrathful Appearance
(4) Animal Featured Appearance
(5) Warrior Appearance
(6) Universal Appearance
(7) Layered Appearance (Deities & Figures)
(8) Stacked Appearance
(9) Ithyphallic Appearance
(10) Androgynous & Gender Reversed Appearance
(11) Winged Deities

- Eleven Types of Deities (HAR on Patreon)
- Animal Headed/Featured Forms

The first five of the Eleven Types of Deities By Appearance are included in the list of Eleven Figurative Forms of Himalayan Art. Those first five deities are the most important because they are the most general and the most commonly found forms in painting and sculpture. The additional six types are important only because by knowing them it keeps confusions and incorrect identifications to a minimum. Aside from trying to standardize the basic types of deity appearance another category less easy to describe and define would be Weird Gods & Fantastical Appearance.

Jeff Watt 2-2016 [updated 5-2017]

(The images below are only a selection of examples from the links above).