Himalayan Art Resources

Subject: Best Examples (Iconography)

Masterworks Main Page

Best examples refers specifically to deity figures and iconographic accuracy. Best examples belongs to the study of Religious context. The basis for iconographic accuracy are the early Sanskrit textual sources, the later commentaries and sometimes regional or traditional convention established over time.

Video: Best Examples (HAR on Patreon)

A Selection of Best Examples:
- Arapachana Manjushri
- Bhutadamara Vajrapani
- Chaturbhuja Lokeshvara
- Hevajra
- Green Tara
- Vajrabhairava
- Vajravarahi
- White Tara
- Others...

'Best examples' and 'masterworks' are always a subjective choice and not universally agreed upon because of cultural differences, region, date, aesthetics, or religious tradition.

Best examples and 'masterworks' are not the same. Masterworks belong principally to the study of Art History. The selection of a masterwork painting or sculpture is based on aesthetics, skill, quality, region, date or rarity. Masterworks are also influenced by a perceived monetary value and possibly a universal cultural value. Best examples and iconographic accuracy are not at all a consideration in assessing monetary value and masterwork status.

Best examples and masterworks are two very different ways of looking at Himalayan art objects. Sometimes an object can be both a masterwork and a best example, although it is not necessary for best examples to be masterworks. It is only important that best examples are accurate, proportioned and attractive. Depending on the subject, it can be very hard to find best examples of a particular iconograhic form. Sometimes iconographic forms are complex and difficult to reproduce as paintings or sculpture.

Jeff Watt, 9-2021

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