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Central Asia, Tibet, ca. late 19th century CE. Hand-painted on fabric in colorful hues and gold leaf, a thankgka depicting Ganapati, an elephant-headed figure with six pairs of arms who is dancing upon his mount, a shrew, at the center, and is surrounded by numerous Taras and associated deities. Ganapati is the Buddhist form of the Hindu god Ganesha. The composition is mesmerizing for its extensive imagery, fine line delineation, and brilliant color palette. A wonderful piece, nicely framed under glass. Size: 20.25" L x 13.375" W (51.4 cm x 34 cm); 21.75" L x 14.25" W (55.2 cm x 36.2 cm) including frame
According to scholar Ben Meulenbeld, "Ganesha is the Hindu god who clears away obstacles, both spiritual and physical. In Tantric Buddhism there is a school that sees Hindu gods as a hindrance. One of these is the obstacle- or hindrance-remover, Ganesha, who is called Vighna, or obstacle, by Buddhists. This led to the creation of the Tantric Buddhist divinity Vighnantaka, the 'Subduer of Vigha,' whereby we see this divinity trample Ganesha underfoot, standing or dancing on him." (Buddhist Symbolism in Tibetan Thangkas. Binkey Kok Publications BV, Havelte/Holland, 2001, p. 88)
Provenance: private New Jersey, USA collection
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Tears to gallery paper on verso. Thangka has not been examined outside the frame but appears to be in good condition. There is some waviness to the composition, but imagery is still vivid.