STYLE: Painted predominantly in green, this work features a mandala hovering in front of a continuous landscape with clouds and snow-capped mountains on a high horizon. The emphasis accorded to the green scrollwork within the mandala circle contrasts with the unevenness of the hills around it. The teachers of the transmission lineage for this teaching are distributed evenly within the hills, but their symmetry is broken up in favor of more realistic placements. The elaborate donor depiction, featuring a king and his family seated in front of a textile screen, is reminiscent of contemporaneous western-Tibetan donor depictions. Interestingly the donor depiction and deities at the bottom are separated by banks of clouds.

CONTENT: This is a mandala of the deity Guhyasamaja Manjuvajra, who is orange, has three heads and six arms, and embraces his consort. This mandala can also be recognized by the two additional deities in the eastern (bottom) quarter. Commencing with the buddha Vajradhara, at the top center, and the bodhisattva Manjushri, to his right, a Sakya School (Jonang) teaching lineage is evenly distributed along the sides of the mandala. Unusual is the large donor depiction, featuring a local king, in the bottom-left corner. The three deities in the bottom row are Kurukulla, Brahmarupa Mahakala, and Ekajati.


  • Title: Guhyasamaja Manjuvajra Mandala
  • Date: 16th century
  • Date Created: 16th century
  • Physical Dimensions: H 35.875 x W 31.375 x D 2.25 in.
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Rubin Museum of Art, C2010.24
  • Medium: Pigments on cloth
  • Place of Creation: Tibet
  • Exhibition History: Rubin Museum of Art, "Masterworks: Jewels of the Collection" (02/06/13 - 01/13/14)

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