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Ink Painting and the Rinpa Tradition

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Portrait of Jnanatapa Attended by Lamas and Mahasiddhas

Date:
ca. 1350
Culture:
Tibet (Riwoche Monastery)
Medium:
Distemper on cloth
Dimensions:
27 x 21 1/2 in. (68.6 x 54.6 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Purchase, Friends of Asian Art Gifts, 1987
Accession Number:
1987.144
  • Description

    This portrait was created for the Riwoche Monastery in eastern Tibet, a branch of the Taklung Monastery, and is intended to invoke the spiritual lineage of the two monasteries. The central figure is not directly named; however, the name Jnanatapa, denoting a famous Indian mahasiddha (a “great perfected one,” one of the spiritual fathers of Tantric Buddhism), appears on a veil attached to the painting, and the deity presiding above the central figure is identified as Avagarbha. The official history of the Taklung Monastery records the first abbot of Riwoche Monastery as an incarnation of “the peerless mahasiddha Jnanatapa,” whose Tantric teacher was Avagarbha, a Bengal siddha.

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    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
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