Indian and Himalayan Art
Vasudhara MandalaMade in Nepal, Asia
Malla Dynasty (1200-1769), c. 15th - early 16th century
Artist/maker unknown, Nepalese
Colors on cloth; cloth mounting
Currently not on view
1960-97-1Gift of Stella Kramrisch, 1960
LabelVasudhara, Goddess of Abundance, is seated in a magnificent palace in the center of this painting. The surrounding boxes illustrate the Suchandra Avadana, a Buddhist morality tale. Similar to the parable of the prodigal son, the Suchandra Avadana describes the life of the youngest son of Suchandra, a wealthy merchant. After losing the family's wealth and committing sacrilegious acts, this son finally repents his poor conduct. Guided by his wife, he brings an offering to the Buddha who advises him to ritually worship Vasudhara to regain grace. The two small rows of figures in the bottom corners, as well as the overall format of the painting, illustrate the performance of this rite. In the center bottom, blue-skinned Achala scares away evil influences that lead people like Suchandra's son into bad behavior.