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The Buddhist deity Green Tara
佛教綠度母像 立轴 緙絲 西夏 十三世紀
Place of Origin: China, Tangut empire, former kingdom of Xixia
Date: 1200-1300
Historical Period: Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Materials: Slit-silk tapestry (kesi)
Dimensions: H. 17 1/4 in x W. 12 in, H. 43.8 cm x W. 30.48 cm (overall); H. 9 1/8 in x W. 7 1/2 in, H. 23.2 cm x W. 19 cm (image)
Credit Line: Museum purchase, City Arts Trust Fund
Department: Chinese Art
Collection: Painting
Object Number: 1992.59
On Display: No

Description

Label:

One of the most important aspects of Lightning Vehicle thought is its emphasis on female imagery. Each Buddha has a specific female counterpart called a "wisdom" (prajna). Green Tara personifies compassion in action, and she is coded green like her male counterpart Amoghasiddhi. Her right arm is extended in the gesture of gift giving, while her right foot virtually steps out of the tapestry.

This tapestry comes from the lost kingdom of Xixia, in northwest China. When the kingdom was destroyed by the Mongols in 1227, the people of Xixia managed to hide some of their treasures in a stupa—a monument enshrining the sacred remains of enlightened beings—which survived intact until Russian archaeologists excavated the site in the twentieth century. Today, the bulk of the material from the lost kingdom of Xixia lies in the State Hermitage Museum, in St. Petersburg, Russia.


More Information

Exhibition History: "Latter Days of the Law: Images of Chinese Buddhism 850-1850", Spencer Museum of Art (8/27/1994-10/9/1994), Asian Art Museum (11/30/1994-1/29/1995)

"Devi: The Great Goddess", Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 3/28/1999 - 9/6/1999

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

One of the most important aspects of Lightning Vehicle thought is its emphasis on female imagery. Each Buddha has a specific female counterpart called a "wisdom" (prajna). Green Tara personifies compassion in action, and she is coded green like her male counterpart Amoghasiddhi. Her right arm is extended in the gesture of gift giving, while her right foot virtually steps out of the tapestry.

This tapestry comes from the lost kingdom of Xixia, in northwest China. When the kingdom was destroyed by the Mongols in 1227, the people of Xixia managed to hide some of their treasures in a stupa—a monument enshrining the sacred remains of enlightened beings—which survived intact until Russian archaeologists excavated the site in the twentieth century. Today, the bulk of the material from the lost kingdom of Xixia lies in the State Hermitage Museum, in St. Petersburg, Russia.


Exhibition History: "Latter Days of the Law: Images of Chinese Buddhism 850-1850", Spencer Museum of Art (8/27/1994-10/9/1994), Asian Art Museum (11/30/1994-1/29/1995)

"Devi: The Great Goddess", Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 3/28/1999 - 9/6/1999

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