Detail View: The AMICA Library: Paramasukha-Chakrasamvara mandala

AMICA Library Year: 
Object Type: 
Creator Nationality: 
Asian; Indian Sub-Continent; Nepalese
Creator Name-CRT: 
Paramasukha-Chakrasamvara mandala
Title Type: 
Object name
Full View
Creation Date: 
ca. 1100
Creation Start Date: 
Creation End Date: 
Materials and Techniques: 
Distemper on cloth
26 7/8 x 19 7/8 in. (68.2 x 50.5 cm)
AMICA Contributor: 
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: 
New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 
Credit Line: 
Rogers Fund, 1995

This is the earliest known Nepalese painting on cloth (paubha). Its rich palette dominated by red and yellow, and the elongated proportions and animation of the figures are characteristic of contemporaneous illustrated manuscripts. The figures' rounded faces are typical of early Nepali works. The placement of the eight graveyards (standard in the iconography of the wrathful deities) along the outer edges of the painting and the attention to detail and humor in these scenes are also characteristic of contemporaneous Nepalese manuscript paintings. The careful treatment of details throughout the painting-the jewelry worn by Chakrasamvara and his consort Vajravarahi, the delicate crossed "vajras" (ritual implements) that fill the outer edges of the central circle, the many jewels and other elements that decorate the mandala-exemplify the best of Nepali painting and foreshadow the influence of this artistic tradition in Tibet during the fourteenth through sixteenth centuries. The central couple is surrounded by six deities, rather than the usual four or eight. There are hundreds of forms of the Chakrasamvara mandala because it is considered the chief of all Mother Tantras of the Unexcelled Yoga Tantra class. This one is remarkable for the medley of varied figures in the charnel grounds just outside the circle as well as for the variety of their movements and actions.

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