Indian and Himalayan Art
Amitayus, the Bodhisattva of Limitless LifeMade in China, Asia
Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), 1761; Qianlong Period (1736-1795)
Artist/maker unknown, Chinese
Appliquéd silk with cloth mounting
Currently not on view
1960-131-5Gift of Natacha Rambova, 1960
LabelAmitayus sits on a blue lotus rising from a pool of foaming waves. The idealized landscape with offerings of multicolored jewels, elephant tusks, and a red coral branch represents sacred space. The red sun and a white crescent moon that appear simultaneously in the sky imply sacred time. This thangka's Chinese origin is indicated by the inscription (on the back), which is written in Tibetan, Manchurian, Mongolian, and Chinese--the four official languages of the Qing dynasty. The inscription includes the date of the commission as well as the name of the deity and, together with the yellow silk that covers the back, shows that the painting was originally part of the imperial Manchu collections.