A thangka of Sitatapatra
Distemper on cloth, Tibeto-Chinese, 19th century
White in color with 1000 faces, 1000 hands, 1000 legs and 10,100,000 (ten million one hundred thousand) eyes. The main face in front is white with 199 white faces above, to the left is a vertical row of yellow faces, to the right is a vertical row of green faces, on both sides are red faces and on top of those are 200 more blue faces. Each face has three eyes and each set of colored faces displays a different expression, she is adorned with various jewel ornaments and wears upper and lower silk garments of assorted colors.
The first pair of hands the right holds a small ritual water vase and the left holds an arrow together with the handle of a parasol, held to the heart, unfurled above on the right side remaining hands hold a Dharma Wheel and an arrow, a vajra, jewel, lotus and visvavajra, a bow, sword, lasso and hook, the 500 legs on the left side are extended above worldly deities and a host of animals and the legs on the right are bent and press down on all worldly troubles, daemons and animals. All the limbs and parts of her body are covered with large staring eyes, standing upon a lotus and is completely surrounded by the flames of pristine awareness.
Along the sides are seven buddhas and lineage masters at the top, and either side of the central Mahakala at the bottom two lay men and three lay women kneel in a gesture of petitioning. Two lines of gilt Tibetan script on back along the bottom register.
30 x 21 ½ in (76.2 x 54.6 cm)
- Please note that the correct designation for this painting is Nepalese, and not Tibeto-Chinese.
Southeast Asian, Indian and Himalayan Art
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