This painting commemorates Buddha Shakyamuni’s expounding on the teachings of the Prajnaparamita, or Perfection of Wisdom, which took place on the Vulture Peak Mountain in Rajagriha, India. This event is also known as the Second Turning of the Wheel of Dharma. In his right hand the Buddha holds a lotus symbolizing the ineffable nature of transcendental wisdom. At the top center of the painting is the personification of Prajnaparamita, flanked on both sides by the Buddhas of the Ten Directions, while the foreground features White Tara.


  • Title: Shakyamuni Buddha
  • Date Created: 18th century
  • Physical Dimensions: 27 3/4 x 18 3/8 in.
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Rubin Museum of Art, C2006.66.128
  • Medium: Ground mineral pigment on cotton
  • Place of Creation: Tibet
  • Exhibition History: Rubin Museum of Art, "The Place of Provenance: Regional Styles" (10/12/12 - 2013), Rubin Museum of Art, "Gateway to Himalayan Art" (08/10/11 - 05/28/12), Rubin Museum of Art, "Embodying the Holy: Icons in Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Tibetan Buddhism" (10/05/11 - 03/07/11), Rubin Museum of Art, "Buddha in Paradise" (05/09/08 - 08/18/08), Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA, "Portals to Shangri-La: Masterpieces from Buddhist Mongolia" (01/30/06 - 08/06/06), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, "Buddha: Radiant Awakening" (11/10/01 - 02/24/02), Tibet House Cultural Center, New York, NY "Worlds of Transformation: Tibetan Art of Wisdom and Compassion" (04/27/99 - 09/25/99)

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