Dharmapala Standing on a Lion
ca. 16th century
Stone with traces of gold paint, inlaid with turquoise
H. 8 1/2 in. (21.6 cm); W. 5 3/4 in. (14.6 cm); D. 2 1/4 in. (5.7 cm); Wt. 6 lbs (2.7 kg)
Purchase, Foundation of Fine Art of the Century Gift, 1985
Dharmapalas, defenders of the dharma, the Buddha’s teachings, represent a category of wrathful guardians essential to the Tibetan system of Buddhism. They are understood to be enlightened beings. This fearsome protector stands astride an equally expressive lion, warding off spiritual dangers.
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