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Four Seated Masters

Four Seated Masters

c. 1450

Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on cotton

Overall: 57.7 x 52 cm (22 11/16 x 20 1/2 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1960.209

Description

Founders and prominent masters of the Sakya order of Buddhism in Tibet are featured in this painting as part of the lineage of teachers who transmitted knowledge of their fundamental text, the Hevajra Tantra. It is one of a series of paintings, beginning with the tangka to the left, made at one of the main monastic centers of the Sakya order, which had close ties with Nepal. Not only were some of the Sakya masters from Nepal, but the painting style favored at Ngor monastery is related to Nepalese sources. The delicate, decorative quality of the painting, its two-dimensionality, the exaggerated curvature of the upper eyelid, and the filling of all spaces with scrollwork are Nepalese features in this Tibetan painting.

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