A thangka of Red Tara Tibet, 18th century
Lot 35
A thangka of Red Tara Tibet, 18th century
Sold for US$ 50,000 inc. premium
Auction Details
A Thangka of Red Tara Tibet, 18th century A Thangka of Red Tara Tibet, 18th century A Thangka of Red Tara Tibet, 18th century
Lot Details
A thangka of Red Tara
Tibet, 18th century
Distemper on cloth; Tara with the right hand in the gesture of generosity holding a gilded red vase of power extended across the knee, the left holding the stem of a red and blue utpala flower blossoming at her left ear, adorned with flowing green silks, jeweled ornaments, and gold tiara with blossoms, seated with the right leg slightly extended in a relaxed manner and the left drawn up on the lotus platform, directly above the goddess is a Panchen Lama and Amitayus, Vaishravana and Palden Lamo in the lower corners, and the twenty corresponding forms of Tara surround the principle figure in identical poses and prescribed colors identified by inscriptions.
Image: 26 1/2 x 18 1/2 in. (67.3 x 47 cm); With silks: 49 x 32 1/2 in. (124.5 x 82.6 cm)

Footnotes

  • Tara is a completely enlightened buddha who had previously promised to appear, after enlightenment, in the form of a female bodhisattva and goddess for the benefit of all beings. Her primary activity is to protect from the eight fears. Practiced in all schools of Tibetan Buddhism her various forms are found in all classes of tantra - Nyingma and Sarma.

    From the tantra known as the 'Twenty-One Praises of Tara' spoken by the Buddha Samantabhadra arises a system of practice with 21 Tara emanations, one for each verse of praise. Each form of Tara has a specific color and accomplishes a specific activity. Based on that, there are three well-known and distinct lineages for the set of twenty-one Taras: Pandita Suryagupta, Lord Atisha, and the lineage from the Nyingma Lama - Longchenpa. In the Atisha system all the Taras appear in the same basic posture with equal faces and hands and only differ in the color of the body and vase held in the right hand of each. Green is the primary color of Tara, however green is not included in the enumeration of the twenty-one. There are four red Taras, six white, three yellow, four orange, two red-black and two black Taras.

    This composition is superbly arranged to accommodate all the aspects of the deities, yet remain open to reveal the fine details of the landscape and floral forms. Compare with a single form of Red Tara in the collection of Rubin Museum of Art (F1997.17.4, see HAR#294).
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