AN EMBROIDERED SILK THANGKA OF THE BUDDHA OF HEALING QING DYNASTY, LATE 18TH/EARLY 19TH CENTURY

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Lot 846
AN EMBROIDERED SILK THANGKA OF THE BUDDHA OF HEALING
QING DYNASTY, LATE 18TH/EARLY 19TH CENTURY

Sold for US$ 57,575 inc. premium
AN EMBROIDERED SILK THANGKA OF THE BUDDHA OF HEALING
QING DYNASTY, LATE 18TH/EARLY 19TH CENTURY
Embroidery on gauze; decorated with seed pearls, coral, turquoise, and lapis beads; outlined with couched gold-wrapped thread.
Himalayan Art Resources item no.16832
Image: 34 7/8 x 18 in. (88.6 x 45.8 cm);
With borders: 40 x 23 in. (101.7 x 58.5 cm)

Footnotes

  • 清 十八世紀末/十九世紀初 絲質刺繡藥師佛唐卡

    Silk textiles are among the most revered articles used in Buddhist worship in China and Tibet. Similar to sculptures and paintings, the finest textile Buddha images were commissioned to accrue religious merit. During the Yuan and early Ming dynasties, magnificent silk thangkas were produced by the Chinese imperial workshop as gifts to Tibetan monasteries. The tradition of weaving and embroidering sacred images continued through the Qing dynasty. Carefully designed and assembled with seed pearls and coral, turquoise, and lapis beads, the present work is among the finest embroidered thangkas produced in the late 18th to early 19th century.

    Commissioned for the blessings of good health, the composition centers on Bhaisajyaguru, the Supreme Healer, offering a myrobalan fruit in his extended right hand. He is flanked by Manjushri on either side, with smaller representations of Akshobhya, Shakyamuni, and a second Bhaisajyaguru above. At the bottom, Prajnaparamita, Vasudhara, and Sarasvati are seated on clouds, surrounded by the eight auspicious symbols (ashtamangala) of Tibetan Buddhism.

    Each figure is impeccably embroidered in satin stitch, with details highlighted in couched gold-wrapped thread. Their jewelry and crowns are further decorated with seed pearls and beads, increasing the cost, and therefore merit, of the commission. The landscape background of clouds, rocks, trees, and flowers is meticulously embroidered in counted stitch. The combined use of satin stitch and counted stitch within the same composition is quite rare. For another example, see a "thousand Buddha" robe published in Rutherford & Menzies, Celestial Silks: Chinese Religious and Court Textiles, Sydney, 2004, pp.30-1.

    Compare with a Qianlong period counted stitch thangka of Green Tara in the Qing Palace Collection, published in Shan Guoqiang, Gugong bowuyuan cang wenwu zhenpin quanji: Zhixiu shuhua, Hong Kong, 2005, p.75, no.39. Also see an embroidered thangka of Amitayus, Tara, and Ushnishavijaya sold at Christie's, New York, 20 September 2000, lot 102, and another of Bhaisajyaguru at Christie's, New York, 16 September 2008, lot 559.
Contacts
AN EMBROIDERED SILK THANGKA OF THE BUDDHA OF HEALING QING DYNASTY, LATE 18TH/EARLY 19TH CENTURY
AN EMBROIDERED SILK THANGKA OF THE BUDDHA OF HEALING QING DYNASTY, LATE 18TH/EARLY 19TH CENTURY
AN EMBROIDERED SILK THANGKA OF THE BUDDHA OF HEALING QING DYNASTY, LATE 18TH/EARLY 19TH CENTURY
AN EMBROIDERED SILK THANGKA OF THE BUDDHA OF HEALING QING DYNASTY, LATE 18TH/EARLY 19TH CENTURY
Auction information

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