Vajrabhairava with Consort Vajravetali

second half of the 15th century

Rubin Museum of Art

Rubin Museum of Art
New York, United States

The deity Vajrabhairava is immediately recognizable by his complex iconography and buffalo head. Vajrabhairava is a wrathful manifestation of Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, whose head is the topmost head of this sculpture. In addition seven more secondary faces surround the deity’s head. Vajrabhairava also has thirty-four hands each bearing a different implement and sixteen legs each with a distinctive animal vehicle underneath. Five small gods, subdued personifications of ignorance, sit along the front of the pedestal. Vajrabhairava is an important yidam, or aspiration deity, of the Sakya, Kagyu and Gelug Schools of Tibetan Buddhism.


  • Title: Vajrabhairava with Consort Vajravetali
  • Date Created: second half of the 15th century
  • Physical Dimensions: H 4.25 x W 3.5 x D 2 in.
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: Rubin Museum of Art, C2005.16.63
  • Medium: Gilt brass
  • Place of Creation: China
  • Exhibition History: Rubin Museum of Art, "Masterworks: Jewels of the Collection" (01/25/12 - 01/14/13), Rubin Museum of Art, "Building the Collection: Acquisitions 2005-2006" (10/13/06 - 02/09/07)

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