Base for a mandala


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 220

Ceremonial mandalas were used in later forms of Buddhism, including Esoteric Buddhism, which flourished in Tibet from the tenth century and was influential at the Chinese court after the fourteenth. This base once supported a three-dimensional mandala that probably comprised small sculptures, models of temples and stupas, or colored sands. The decoration combines lotus flowers (Buddhist symbols of purity) at the top with the Eight Buddhist Treasures at the sides.

Base for a mandala, Cloisonné enamel, China

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