This thangka depicts White Tārā in the centre surrounded by a large number of female deities. On the back of the thangka there has been drawn a stūpa inscribed with Padmasambhava’s mantra (Oṃ vajraguru padmasiddhi hūṃ hrīḥ), the famous verse on dependent co-arising, etc., and there is also an inscription in cursive dbu med script, according to which this thangka was produced by the vidyādhara (rig ’dzin) bSod-nams-chos-kyi-dbang-phyug as the right-hand thangka (g-yas thang) of a set based on the ’Phag (sic) mchog bcu gcig zhal bsgrub thabs rgyal po lugs, a ritual manual for Eleven-Faced Avalokiteśvara going back to King Srong-brtsan-sgam-po that was revealed by the rNying-ma-pa Sangs-rgyas-gling-pa (1340–96). It is stated that the thangka is centred on White Tārā, who is accompanied by the ḍākinīs of the Five Families (mkha’ ’gro sde lnga), the Pañcarakṣā (gzung chen gra lnga’i lha), Mārīcī and Parṇaśavarī (’od zer lo gyon can), Yellow Vārāhī (phag gdongs ser mo), Sitātapatrā (gdug [sic] dkar lha mo), etc., and this description tallies exactly with the arrangement of the deities in this thangka.
The Museum's collection includes many other thangkas with inscriptions, but examples like this one, which records not only the circumstances of its production but also the text on which it is based and the arrangement of the deities, are rare, and it is a valuable source of material conveying actual details about the production of thangkas in Tibet. It is well-executed and in good condition and is valuable as a modern example of a rNying-ma-pa depiction of Tārā.


  • Title: WhiteTara
  • Creator: ANONYMOUS
  • Date Created: 1800/1900
  • Location Created: Tibet
  • Physical Dimensions: 83.7x61.0cm
  • Subject Keywords: Tibet
  • Type: Tibetan Buddhist Painting, Thangka
  • Publisher: Hwajeong Museum
  • Rights: Hwajeong Museum
  • Medium: polychrome on cotton

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