Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Panel from a Buddhist Ritual Crown Depicting Vairocana

Date:
late 13th–early 14th century
Culture:
Tibet
Medium:
Distemper on wood
Dimensions:
H. 11 3/4 in (29.8 cm); W. 5 1/8 in (13 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Vincent Astor Foundation Gift, 1997
Accession Number:
1997.152
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 251
This panel survives from one of the finest ritual crowns of the high period of Tibetan painting. Guarding the base of Vairocana’s crown are lions which also serve as his vehicle. Vairocana, who presides over the five Transcendent Buddhas, makes the esoteric bodhyagri gesture while holding a thunderbolt (vajra) scepter in his right hand. He wears a multi-tiered crown which is broadly contemporary.
[ John Eskenazi Ltd. , London, until 1997, sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Sacred Visions: Early Paintings from Central Tibet," October 6, 1998–January 17, 1999.

Zurich. Museum Rietberg. "Sacred Visions: Early Paintings from Central Tibet," February 14, 1999–May 16, 1999.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Cosmic Buddhas in the Himalayas," June 24, 2017–December 10, 2017.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Crowns of the Vajra Masters: Ritual Art of Nepal," December 16, 2017–December 16, 2018.

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