Set of Six Tibetan Offering Paintings

c. 1850
$1,680 USD
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W: 27.0" D: 1.5" H: 12.75"
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Similar to Tibetan tsakli, miniature paintings used by Buddhist monks in ritual practices performed outside of a temple, these miniature illustrations were once used by Buddhist laity during independent prayer or meditation. Though prayer cards often depict specific deities, this set of six is painted with auspicious symbols and special offerings, likely in substitution of physical offerings to a protector deity. The cards are full with animals, mythical creatures, and precious objects, each an offering in its own right and dense with symbolism. Tigers and leopards offer strength and fearlessness, while deer, horses, and antelopes convey peace and harmony. Among the offerings are three embodiments of the cardinal directions: a celestial dragon, a kingly snow lion, and the mythical winged lord of the birds Garuda, with serpent in hand. Set in a minimal black frame, these captivating paintings offer a unique glimpse of Tibetan Buddhism in the 19th century.

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