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This remarkable tangka presents an apparently Nyingma School lama, wearing a red abbot's hat and a religious robe over his bare shoulders. He holds a vajra and a bell and a beribboned arrow of longevity and prosperity. Next to him is a circular mandala palace pattern created within an elaborately decorated ritual space. Around the mandala palace on an altar area are offering vessels with six ornate barley flower offering cakes adorned with butter decorations. Resting in the mandala is a ritual tripod that supports a dish of blessed substance, probably longevity pills. Standing in the dish is a victory vase with a peacock feather stopper used to sprinkle the elixir contained within the vase.

Details

  • Title: Lama Engaged in Ritual
  • Date Created: 17th century
  • Physical Dimensions: 27 5/8 x 20 5/8 in.
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Rubin Museum of Art, C2006.66.20
  • Medium: Pigments on cloth
  • Place of Creation: Eastern Tibet
  • Exhibition History: Rubin Museum of Art, "The Art of Tibetan Medicine" (03/12/13 - 08/15/13), Rubin Museum of Art, "Gateway to Himalayan Art" (07/23/10 - 07/25/11), Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN, "Worlds of Transformation: Tibetan Art of Wisdom and Compassion" (09/28/01 - 01/06/02), Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, TX, "Worlds of Transformation: Tibetan Art of Wisdom and Compassion" (01/16/00 - 03/26/00), Tibet House, New York, NY, "Worlds of Transformation: Tibetan Art of Wisdom and Compassion" (04/27/99 - 09/25/99), Taiwan Museum of Art, Taiwan, "Worlds of Transformation: Tibetan Art of Wisdom and Compassion" (06/05/98 - 07/02/98), Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, "Worlds of Transformation: Tibetan Art of Wisdom and Compassion" (03/29/98 - 05/29/98), Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall, Taipei, Taiwan, Taiwan Museum of Art, "Worlds of Transformation: Tibetan Art of Wisdom and Compassion" (01/16/98 - 03/16/98)

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