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西藏 約十二世紀 噶舉喇嘛唐卡
This solitary painting illustrates an unidentified yet esteemed hierarch from the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. Seated atop a cushioned throne supported by a pair of alert, recumbent lions, he interlocks his fingers in dharmachakrapravartina mudra, emulating the historical Buddha's First Sermon at Sarnath. Like many other paintings depicting members from his monastic order, he is modelled in three-quarter profile with short hair and squarish features. His affiliation with the Kagyu is also made apparent by his sleeveless vest in yellow, a red patchwork robe draped over his left shoulder, and a saffron sitting robe to keep him warm. The golden, triangular projections behind his shoulder allude to the throne's back. A golden parasol at the apex of the aureole sits above the lama's head, a rare detail coming from Pala sculpture of the 11th/12th century.
The treatment of the figure's heavy eyelids, the elaborate, foliating scrollwork of the blue pillow supporting his back, and flowers gently tumbling within the blue background reflect the influence of well-established painting traditions from northeast India. Based on its similarity of composition and style, the artist of this painting most likely had firsthand knowledge in the viewing, studying, and copying of such works that were being brought over by Indian monks and artists (see a painting attributed to eastern India illustrating the cosmic Buddha Amoghasiddhi, published in Kossak et al., Sacred Visions: Early Paintings from Central Tibet, 1998, p. 60, no. 4). These previously mentioned details appear on a portrait image in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (1991.52), and another in the Walters Art Museum (35.320), published in Pal, Desire and Devotion, 2001, pp. 230-1, no. 133. Also compare the similar rendering of white lions located near the base of the throne to two paintings of Kaygu hierarchs, one from the Richard R. and Magdelena Ernst Collection (HAR 18344) and another in the Musée Guimet (HAR 85903).
David Jackson, Mirror of the Buddha: Early Portraits from Tibet, New York, 2011, p. 27, Fig. I.27.
Mirror of the Buddha, Rubin Museum of Art, New York, 7 October 2011 - 27 February 2012.