A mandala of Chakrasamvara
Tibet, 15th century
Ground mineral pigment on cotton; the reverse with an inscription venerating Chakrasamvara and identifying the thirteen deity mandala, the script forming the shape of a stupa and mantras of ōṃ ā hūṃ behind each deity and lama.
Chakrasamvara in union with his red consort Vajravarahi at the center of his celestial palace and surroundings viewed from above. He is blue-black in color with three faces and six hands, and surrounded by flames of pristine awareness. Immediately around the central figures are four forms of retinue figures, with one face and four hands, separated by long life vases framed in lotus petals. In the surrounding square are four similar figures along with four animal-headed gatekeepers guarding the doorways to the palace, all framed by a ring containing scenes of charnel grounds and multi-colored flames.
In the top register sits Akshobhya, blue in color, sided by Indian lineage gurus initially and then Sakya lineage hierarchs. Further lineage teachers and protector figures are arranged around the mandala circle at the left and right position, also incorporating the eight auspicious symbols. At the bottom left, the small seated figure in the attire of a monk is possibly the sponsor of the painting. In the bottom register are variously colored Vajrayoginis, a directional guardian wearing armor, and a blue Mahakala. To the right is a patron monk seated before an altar.
18 3/4 x 14 7/8 in. (47.5 x 38 cm)