A Mandala of Chakrasamvara Tibet, 15th/16th century
Lot 152
A mandala of Chakrasamvara Tibet, 15th century
US$ 100,000 - 150,000
£61,000 - 92,000

Lot Details
A Mandala of Chakrasamvara Tibet, 15th/16th century A Mandala of Chakrasamvara Tibet, 15th/16th century
A mandala of Chakrasamvara
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)

Footnotes

  • As noted by Jeff Watt in his discussion of a related mandala (HAR65020) "Chakrasamvara is one of the most popular deities in Tantric Buddhism. He can appear in several dozen different forms, which makes it necessary to rely on the descriptive literature in the Sanskrit and Tibetan languages to identify him. Adding to the complexity, there are more than fifty different traditions of these forms in Tibetan Buddhism. They are meant to emphasize different types of meditation practice that are suited for specific types of emotional and psychological characteristics in the tantric practitioners who take on these intricate practices. The form of the subject of this painting is the Thirteen Deity Samvarodaya Chakrasamvara Mandala as described in the Sanskrit text the Shri Maha Samvarodaya Tantraraja."

    Also compare with a dated 15th century Nepalese mandala in the Los Angeles, County Museum of Art, see John C. Huntington and Dina Bangdel, The Circle of Bliss: Buddhist Meditational Art, Chicago, 2003, no. 260.
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