Goddess of Long Life Ushnishavijaya

15th century

Rubin Museum of Art

Rubin Museum of Art

Here the eight-armed goddess of long life Ushnishavijaya sits framed by an ornate stupa. An inscription on the back follows the shape of the stupa. A tiny representation of Buddha Vairochana, the goddess's primary buddha sits just above the dome of the stupa.

The fifteenth century marks a period of transition in Tibetan painting. While works from this time adhere to organizational principles inherited from India and Nepal, the usual strict, grid-like compartmentalization of the figures has transformed into rows of circular cell-like enclosures made of scrolling vines. Paintings of this period also feature more distinctive Tibetan architecture and often emphasize an auspicious backdrop of blossoms, features that are both evident in this work. Stylistically this painting relates to the famous murals of the Kumbum, in Gyantse, southern-central Tibet.

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  • Title: Goddess of Long Life Ushnishavijaya
  • Date: 15th century
  • Date Created: 15th century
  • Physical Dimensions: 20 1/4 x 18 1/2 in.
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Rubin Museum of Art, Gift of the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, F1998.17.1
  • Medium: Pigments on cloth
  • Place of Creation: Central Tibet
  • Exhibition History: Rubin Museum of Art, "Masterworks: Jewels of the Collection" (03/11/11 - 01/09/12), Rubin Museum of Art, "What is It? Himalayan Art" (09/26/08 - 06/14/10), Rubin Museum of Art, "Perfected Beings, Pure Realms" (10/02/04 - 10/16/06), Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA, "Female Buddhas: Women of Enlightenment in Tibetan Mysticism" (09/14/02 - 04/15/03; 06/12/03 - 08/24/03), Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN, "Worlds of Transformation: Tibetan Art of Wisdom and Compassion" (09/28/01 - 01/06/02), Kimbell Museum of Art, Fort Worth, TX, "Worlds of Transformation: Tibetan Art of Wisdom and Compassion" (01/16/00 - 03/26/00), Tibet House Cultural Center, New York, NY, "Worlds of Transformation: Tibetan Art of Wisdom and Compassion" (04/27/99 - 09/25/99)


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