Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Tara, Green, Three Iconographic Topics

Three Iconographic Topics | Tara, White (Forms & Types)

Three Iconographic Topics:
--- Iconographic Details (textual description/iconography)
--- Non-iconographic Details (stylistic interpretation/art history)
--- Symbolic Meanings (religious context)
- Textual Descriptions (below)
- Tara: Three Points

- Tara Introduction: Three Points
- Six Iconographic Categories

Iconographic Details: (figure & attributes/Text based)
- Female
- One face, Two arms
- Green in colour
- Peaceful Appearance (Youthful)
- Gesture of generosity or fearlessness & holding a blue utpala
- Peaceful Ornaments
- Seated in a relaxed posture, right leg extended, moon disc, lotus seat
- Masterwork Examples

Non-iconographic Details: (stylistic interpretation/art history)
- Body colour hue & shading
- Body proportions
- Iconometric measurements
- Body sway
- Design of ornaments
- Design & colour of garments
- Tilt of the head
- Outer halo type & colour
- Others...

Symbolic Meanings: (religious context)
- Figure
- Attributes
- Adornments
- Supports

Textual Example:

"On an and eight petalled lotus...is Holy Tara, reddish-green in colour, one face and two hands. The right [hand] is in the gesture of supreme generosity and the left holds with the thumb and ring finger an utpala to the heart. Wearing beautiful jewel ornaments and various silks, the hair as a crown, seated in a posture with the right leg extended and the left drawn up. On the right [side] is orange Marichi holding in the left [hand] a branch of the Ashoka tree. On the left is black Ekajati holding a skullcup in the left. Both hold in the right [hands] a fly-whisk; adorned with jewels and beautiful silk clothing, with the two legs placed equally in a standing manner." (Thartse Panchen Namka Chime).

Jeff Watt 7-2023

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