A thangka of Kurukulla,
Central Tibet, Late 17th/Early 18th century
Distemper on cloth and framed by original silks; Red in color with one face, two eyes, black hair curling to the sides and four hands, she has a slightly fierce expression with a gaping mouth and bared fangs. In the first pair of hands are a bow and arrow aimed to the left. The second hold a hook in the right and a lasso with gold vajra tips in the left. Adorned with a tiara of five white skulls, earrings, bracelets and a necklace of heads each tied by the hair, she wears a red scarf and tiger skin skirt bound with a red sash. The right leg is drawn up in a dancing posture and the left foot presses on a red and gold disc over a prone corpse and pink lotus platform. She is completely surrounded by the red jagged flames of pristine awareness and large gilt-edges leaves and massive blossom buds.
The surrounding composition is painted in a receding landscape of rock mountains, waterfall and rivers. A Panchen lama seated upper right and Amitayus on upper left. Takkiraja in union with his consort is at the bottom center, flanked by skull offering cups brimming with nectar and the five senses on the left and a corpse being stripped by a vulture on the right.
An ink inscription on the top back of the textile mount reads - gyas bzhi pa. kurukulle. 'Right Four. Kurukulla.' Image: 27 x 11 in. (68.6 x 27.9 cm.)