Himalayan Art Resources

Subject: Deities - Visual Categories

Buddhist Iconography Main Page

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description (below)
- Two Genders
- Three Moods
- Three Modes
- Eleven Figurative Forms
- Eleven Types of Deities
- Gestures (Mudra)
- Postures (Asana)
- Gods & Deities in Buddhist Art (Conceptual/abstract)
- Others...

- Three Modes of Deity Appearance
- Gods & Deities: Part 1
- Gods & Deities: Part 2

There are two main methods of understanding the categories of deities in Himalayan art: visual categories and abstract conceptual categories. Although there can be four genders in Buddhism only two are visually represented, male and female. The three moods are (1) peaceful, (2) semi-peaceful/semi-wrathful and (3) wrathful. The eleven figurative forms are a comprehensive grouping of all of the figurative types in art based on general appearance and mood. The eleven types of deities are a further sub-grouping of the meditational deities based on visual characteristics along with complexity.

Jeff Watt 8-2020

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