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The cosmic Buddha Vairochana
Place of Origin: Tibet, Tsang
Date: 1100-1200
Object Name: Thangka
Materials: Colors on cotton
Dimensions: H. 39 1/2 in x W. 28 7/8 in, H. 100.3 cm x W. 73.2 cm (image); H. 57 in x W. 38 1/2 in, H. 144.8 cm x W. 97.8 cm (overall)
Credit Line: Acquisition made possible by the Avery Brundage estate, Sharon Bacon, Mona J. Bolcom, Dr. Edward P. Gerber, Jane R. Lurie, Margaret Polak, Therese and Richard Schoofs, Dr. and Mrs. William Wedemeyer, and anonymous friends of the Asian Art Museum
Department: Himalayan Art
Collection: Painting
Object Number: 1992.58
On Display: No

Description

Label:

Mutual Looking
In this painting, the crowned Buddha Vairochana, the "Radiant One," sits in lotus position at the center and summit of the universe. Vairochana's hands make the teaching gesture, as befits the teacher of all Buddhas. Flanked by the bodhisattvas of compassion and wisdom, he sits on a white moon-disk that surmounts a multicolored lotus. The incomplete bottom row would typically have depicted fierce guardian figures and patrons who commissioned the painting.

In many south Asian traditions, eye contact between deities and worshipers creates an immediate religious encounter. In its original context, this painting may have invited viewers to interact with Vairochana visually, just as Vairochana's companions are looking at him.

The reverse of this painting includes an inscription in the shape of a stupa.

 


More Information

Exhibition History: Enter the Mandala: Cosmic Centers and Mental Maps of Himalayan Buddhism, March 14 — October 26, 2014, Asian Art Museum
Label:

Mutual Looking
In this painting, the crowned Buddha Vairochana, the "Radiant One," sits in lotus position at the center and summit of the universe. Vairochana's hands make the teaching gesture, as befits the teacher of all Buddhas. Flanked by the bodhisattvas of compassion and wisdom, he sits on a white moon-disk that surmounts a multicolored lotus. The incomplete bottom row would typically have depicted fierce guardian figures and patrons who commissioned the painting.

In many south Asian traditions, eye contact between deities and worshipers creates an immediate religious encounter. In its original context, this painting may have invited viewers to interact with Vairochana visually, just as Vairochana's companions are looking at him.

The reverse of this painting includes an inscription in the shape of a stupa.

 


Exhibition History: Enter the Mandala: Cosmic Centers and Mental Maps of Himalayan Buddhism, March 14 — October 26, 2014, Asian Art Museum