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Durgatiparisodhana from the Vajradhatu Mandala Series

Artist/maker unknown, Mongolian

Made in Mongolia, Asia

c. 18th century

Colors on cloth; cloth mounting

Image: 36 1/2 x 23 1/2 inches (92.7 x 59.7 cm) Mount: 57 x 33 1/2 inches (144.8 x 85.1 cm) Frame: 54 1/2 × 39 1/2 × 2 1/4 inches (138.4 × 100.3 × 5.7 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Natacha Rambova, 1960

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In Tibetan-Buddhist art a mandala often represents a divine palace, usually shown as an abstracted square building with four gates inside a circle. But a mandala also signifies a circle of friends or a sphere of influence. This painting was originally part of a series that elaborated the Vajradhatu (Diamond Realm) Mandala. Such series of mandala paintings can be understood as a chain of palaces in a specific, though abstract, place (here the Diamond Realm). The deities who inhabit the mandala-palaces are related to each other in a formalized family tree. This painting's Mongolian origin is indicated by its pastel colors, low rolling hills (rather than Tibet's snowy peaks), the presence of Green and White Taras, and the distinct tiger face on the general's shield in the lower right.