Sunday, April 15, 2012

Maharakta Ganapati

There are a number of very good paintings and sculpture of Maharakta Ganapati. This however has to be the best of the late paintings, likely to be 18th century. As for the provenance, it was owned in the 1960s by the Kumar Galleries of New Delhi and later sold to the Guimet Museum in Paris sometime in the early 1970s. Also during this period the painting was made into a poster and offered for sale in both Europe and North America.

The painting was commissioned by someone of the Sakya Tradition. The composition has several unique features such as the Ratnasambhava Buddha at the top center accompanied by several Sakya teachers, the special form of Bhutadamara Vajrapani unique to the Maharakta practice, and the Yugu Chesum - three wealth sisters - at the bottom center. It is really a fantastic example both for art and iconography of an important Power Deity in the Sakya Tradition.

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