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Tibetan Thangka of Vajrabhairava
AMM Gr- 9379
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

In the Baltic region, Tibetan Buddhist religious art is underrepresented in large museum collections, therefore, each acquired object has a unique value, particularly if the object is also a masterful work of art. By analyzing the content of the Thangka, it is possible to approach the world of Tibetan Buddhist characters and symbols, giving European audiences a deeper understanding of Tibetan culture. This impressive Thangka painting is a colorfully composed and dramatically dynamic depiction of the deity (Tib. yidam) Vajrabhairava. Vajrabhairava (Tib. Dorje Jig.je), or Yamantaka, which means “terminator of Yama (the Lord of Death),” is one of the most popular deities in the Tibetan Buddhist Tantric pantheon, and belongs to the highest level of yoga-tantra. Vajrabhairava is the wrathful aspect of the Bodhisattva Manjushri. The dark-blue body symbolizes wrath, to forcefully overcome our inner delusions. The three figures at the bottom (from the left) are the dharmapalas Dharmaraja (Chogyal), Mahakala (Gonpo) and Shri Devi (Palden Lhamo).

History of the Object
It is possible that the object’s history is connected with the small collection of Eastern art owned by the Latvian painter, Ģederts Eliass, who worked in Latvia and Belgium in the early twentieth century.

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Type
Painting 
Materials
cotton, painted 
Measurements
63.3 cm x 42.7 cm 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
China; Tibet 
Geography
China; Tibet 
Time period
AD 18th century ~ AD 18th century 
Creation date
18th Century; 1750 -1800 
Function
Thangka paintings are religious artifacts in Tibetan Buddhism 
Acquisition
The Thangka icon was purchased by the museum in 2003 from the private collection of B. Ellerte. 
Copyright
Latvian National Museum of Art, Latvia 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
State property, Latvian National Museum of Art, Latvia 
Museum
Art Museum Riga Bourse 
Credit line
 

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