Protector Begtse Chen

late 18th-early 19th century

Rubin Museum of Art

Rubin Museum of Art
New York, United States

The name Begtse, Jamsaran in Mongolian, refers to this deity’s coat of mail, a copper cuirass. This protector wields a sword with a scorpion handle, here very stylized, and in the other hand once held a heart up to his gaping mouth. Also lost are a bow and arrow that would be held in the bend of the elbow and a pedestal with a rider and his horse, on which Begtse is commonly shown trampling. The large opening at the back of this statue was intended for the insertion of consecratory objects such as relics and sacred texts, which imbued the image with its spiritual efficacy.


  • Title: Protector Begtse Chen
  • Date Created: late 18th-early 19th century
  • Physical Dimensions: H 21 x W 18.75 x D 9.5 in.
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: Rubin Museum of Art, C2005.12.3
  • Medium: Gilt copper alloy with pigment
  • Place of Creation: Mongolia
  • Exhibition History: Rubin Museum of Art, "Masterworks: Jewels of the Collection" (01/25/12 - 01/14/13), Rubin Museum of Art, "Bardo: Tibetan Art of the Afterlife" (02/12/10 - 09/06/10), Crow Collection of Asian Art, Dallas, TX, "What is Tibetan Art?" (09/14/07 - 04/27/08), Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA, "Aesthetics of the Sacred: The Buddhist Art of Tibet" (05/04/07 - 08/04/07), Rubin Museum of Art, "Beyond Chinggis Kahn: Mongolia Past and Present" (11/03/06 - 04/16/07), Rubin Museum of Art, "Demonic Divine in Himalayan Art" (11/15/04 - 03/13/06)

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps