Two thangkas of arhats and directional guardians
Distemper on cloth, Tibet, 18th century
The four arhat composition includes Vanavasin holding a flywhisk and making pointing gesture in the left hand; Kanakavatsa with a jewel lasso; Kanakabharadvaja with his hands in meditation; Bhadra performing the gestures of explanation and meditation. Each wears sumptuous, gold, red and orange robes seated on meditation mats and surrounded by their prescribed attendants within an open field setting by a deep blue lake.
The second composition with Dharmata holding a flywhisk in the right hand, the right holds golden vase, adorned with gold earrings and long flowing garments of red and gold he walks with a carrying case filled with books and a black begging bowl supporting an umbrella-like canopy, guarded by snarling tiger and Amitabha in a swirl of pink cloud and the top left corner is the white goddess Ushnishvajaya and various birds and a pair of horses at play in the lake below. At the lower left Vaishravana with large round eyes, moustache and beard, he holds upraised in the right hand a victory banner and in the left a jewel spitting mongoose held at the waist, adorned with a gold crown studded with jewels, earrings and the like, he wears a gold armored vest and various colored garments, trousers and boots. Seated in a relaxed manner with the right leg extended he is surrounded by dark billowing clouds and an areola of flame, orange in color. In front, a small yaksha daemon in a knelling posture holds aloft in the two hands a golden bowl filled with precious jewels. At the right side is Virupaksha, holding to stupa and in the left entwined about the hand a pink snake, adorned with similar ornaments and attire, he sits upon a leopard skin mat surrounded by dark swirling smoke and an areola of flame. Below, a beautiful naga girl, with the lower torso in the form of a green serpent, offers up with both hands a precious jewel. Both thangkas stretched and framed in Japanese silks.
image: 17 x 12 in. (43.2 x 35 cm)