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Image of Buddha, the Supreme Healer

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Bookmark: https://collection.sdmart.org/objects-1/info/6407

Buddha, the Supreme Healer


Creation date: 15th century
Creation place: Tibet

Other Information

Type: Painting
Medium and Support: Opaque watercolor on cotton
Credit Line: Edwin Binney 3rd Collection
Accession Number: 1990.1470
Dimensions: 20 7/8 in. x 17 17/32 in. (53 cm x 44.5 cm)

Provenance

Doris Wiener Gallery, New York, New York ( - February 24, 1974)

Edwin Binney 3rd, San Diego, California (February 24, 1974 - August 27, 1990)

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California (August 27, 1990 - )

Label Copy

Seated in a yogic position on an elaborate lotus throne, Buddha as the Supreme Healer (Bhaishajyaguru) holds a medicine container in his left hand and a fruit in his right. He is attended by two standing Bodhisattvas (Suryavairochana and Chandravairochana), seven seated Buddhas, and 99 tantric deities, monks, guardian figures and Tathagata Buddhas. On the reverse are inscriptions identifying the figures.
A tanka is a vertical painting on cotton, equipped with dowels at top and bottom to facilitate both rolling for storage and hanging for worship or storytelling. Most have religious purposes. Tankas were generally mounted on silk borders that originally acted as protection for the image, but which grew to have symbolic meaning as well. Our tanka has lost its silk borders, but is colors are particularly fresh and vivid.

September 2005
Devotional Arts of Nepal
The fifteenth century witnessed a rise in the number of Nepali artists traveling to Tibet, and they contributed to the development of Tibetan thangkas (devotional paintings on cloth). The rich scrolling vegetation and type of throne complete with mythical creatures are closely related to Nepali sources.
The healing Buddha holds a medicine bowl in his left hand, and a small fruit in his lowered right hand. As is typical of this period, regimented rows surrounding the central figure contain images of other healing Buddhas, bodhisattvas, apotheosized monks, dancing goddesses, and guardians. A prayer to Buddha Bhaishajyaguru is written on the back, and a mantra (om a hum) is written behind every figure.

Sonya Quintanilla (2014) Quebec Label
Buddha, the Supreme Healer
Tibet, 15th century
Opaque watercolor on cotton
Edwin Binney 3rd Collection, 1990.1470
Seated in a yogic position on an elaborate lotus throne, Buddha as the Supreme Healer (Bhaishajyaguru) holds a medicine container in his left hand and a fruit in his right. He is attended by two standing Bodhisattvas (Suryavairochana and Chandravairochana), seven seated Buddhas, and 99 tantric deities, monks, guardian figures and Tathagata Buddhas. On the reverse are inscriptions identifying the figures.
A tanka is a vertical painting on cotton, equipped with dowels at top and bottom to facilitate both rolling for storage and hanging for worship or storytelling. Most have religious purposes. Tankas were generally mounted on silk borders that originally acted as protection for the image, but which grew to have symbolic meaning as well. Our tanka has lost its silk borders, but is colors are particularly fresh and vivid.
Last Updated: 9/5/2017

Exhibition

This object was included in the following exhibitions:

Thangka Art Doris Wiener, Inc. , 1/12/1974 - 2/23/1974

Nepal: Where the Gods Are Asia House Gallery , 9/21/1975 - 12/21/1975

Myths, Monsters, Maharajas: Introducing the Binney Collection San Diego Museum of Art , 11/23/1991 - 1/26/1992

Into India: South Asian Paintings from The San Diego Museum of Art San Diego Museum of Art , 2/28/2012 - 5/27/2012

Bibliography

This object has the following bibliographic references:

Pratapaditya Pal. Nepal: Asia House Gallery. New York, New York, 1975
Page Number: 31 no. 8, 72 no. 8, Figure Number: 8

Ms. Doris Wiener. Thankga Art Doris Wiener Gallery. New York, New York, 1974
Page Number: Plate H, Figure Number: H

Dr. Caron Smith. San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 2003
Page Number: 90, Figure Number: 90

Dr. Sonya Quintanilla and Patrick Coleman. Visiones de la India Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Madrid, 2012
Page Number: 44, 257-8, Figure Number: cat 9, p 45

Dr. Sonya Quintanilla and Patrick Coleman. Visiones de la India (Mexico) Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia. Mexico , 2013
Page Number: 36, Figure Number: cat. 9, p 37

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