Fragment of a Mandala Depicting Mahasiddha
Nepal or Tibet
Ca. 14th century
Gilded and painted copper alloy repoussé
33 x 53.5 cm
Provenanace
Exhibited

Mandala: Sacred Circle in Tibetan Buddhism, Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University, Atlanta (21 January–15 April 2012)

Mandala: The Perfect Circle, Rubin Museum of Art, New York (14 August 2009–11 January 2010)

Arte Buddhista Tibetana: Dei e Demoni dell' Himalaya, Palazzo Bricherasio, Turin (June–September 2004)

The Sculptural Heritage of Tibet: Buddhist Art in the Nyingjei Lam Collection, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (6 October–30 December 1999)

Publications

M. Brauen, Mandala: Sacred Circle in Tibetan Buddhism (New York: Rubin Museum of Art; Stuttgart: Arnoldsche Art Publishers, 2009), 1.10

F. Ricca, Arte Buddhista Tibetana: Dei e Demoni dell' Himalaya (Turin: Mondadori Electa, 2004), fig. IV.71, p. 210

J. Watt, Himalayan Art Resources (himalayanart.org), no. 68444

Weldon, D. and Casey Singer, J., The Sculptural Heritage of Tibet: Buddhist Art in the Nyingjei Lam Collection (London: Laurence King Pub, 1999), fig. 46, p. 75 (as Fragment of mandala depicting creation grounds)

[This] ca. fourteenth-century Nyingjei Lam repoussé fragment of what must have been an enormous mandala depicts the iconography associated with one of the eight cremation grounds (śmaśāna). The flames at the edge of the fragment surround a register of dorjes; the scene below depicts Indra on an elephant accompanied by his entourage. The style is quintessentially Nepalese and the mandala was undoubtedly made by a Newar craftsman. It seems likely that a work of such substantial proportions as that represented by this fragment was commissioned by Tibetan patrons during this period of burgeoning monastic growth; however, Nepalese patronage cannot be ruled out. The copper repoussé is gilded and painted red–in Nepalese works and works clearly influenced by Nepalese traditions, the areas that are not gilded are often painted red.

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