19th century

Rubin Museum of Art

Rubin Museum of Art

This sculpture of the fierce personal meditation deity Vajrabhairava (Vajra Terror) is assembled from pieces of copper that have been hammered out from the inside, a technique known as repoussé. Artists of Dolonnor, in Inner Mongolia, were masters of this technique. Many Tibetan Buddhist images were produced there in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries for projects all across the Tibetan Buddhist world. By this time Inner Mongolia had been absorbed into the Manchu Qing dynasty, which ruled China from 1644 to 1911. Characteristic of the Dolonnor style are the separately attached ornaments made of thin strips of hammered copper, such as the elephant skin draped over Vajrabhairava’s shoulder.

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  • Title: Vajrabhairava
  • Date: 19th century
  • Date Created: 19th century
  • Physical Dimensions: H 21.375 x W 13.125 x D 11.125 in.
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: Rubin Museum of Art, C2005.27.3
  • Medium: Metal with applied ornaments and pigments
  • Place of Creation: Inner Mongolia
  • Exhibition History: Rubin Museum of Art, "Masterworks: Jewels of the Collection" (02/06/13 - 01/13/14), Rubin Museum of Art, "Beyond Chinggis Kahn: Mongolia Past and Present" (11/03/06 - 04/16/07)