VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

Add to Favorites

Add to Favorites
Your web browser does not support
Add to Favorites.

Please add the site using your bookmark menu.
The function is available only on Internet Explorer
search a masterpiece

Mahakala
1931.48.5
Download print email facebook twitter me2day

Why this is a
Masterpiece

In paintings he is dark blue or black, but as guardian of the Gösta Montell collection he takes the form of a gilded metal statue with hair painted red. In the first of his right hands he holds a chopping knife with a Vajra handle (the blade of which has been broken off and lost), in his raised hand he holds a wreath of human skulls and also a corner of the elephant hide that covers his back. In his third right hand he holds a trident. His first left hand holds a skull cup containing blood and a human heart, the second holds the other corner of the elephant hide and flaming object which may be a stylised peacock feather. A noose with a hook at each end is suspended from his third left hand. He is trampling the Hindu Elephant God Ganesha .

History of the Object
Mahakala, “Great Black”, first appeared as a wrathful manifestation of Kali, consort of the Hindu God Shiva, and as a revelation of Shiva himself. But, some centuries before Indian Buddhism was obliterated by Moslem invaders, Mahakala had also been co-opted among the Buddhist deities, first as an emanation of the cosmic Buddha Vairochana, and later as a wrathful manifestation of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. In Tibeto-Mongolian Buddhism he can appear in more than seventy different manifestations. Already in India were daily ritual sacrifices devoted to Mahakala as a popular protector of Buddhist monasteries. In Tibet and Mongolia, together with other guardian figures, he watches over the interior of most temples, while four regal figures stand guard outside. His cult acquired special prominence under the early Yuan Dynasty rulers in China.

Map Of Museums

See the Google map
Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Gilded metal, base painted wood.The semi-precious stones which once adorned the bracelet and other jewellery have long since disappeared 
Measurements
Height 45 cm  
Creator name
unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
China; Tibet 
Geography
China; Tibet 
Time period
AD 19th century ~ AD 19th century 
Creation date
19th century 
Function
worship 
Acquisition
Sven Hedin, the famous Swedish explorer, whose early expeditions were undertaken single-handed or with just a few native companions, organised his last great expedition, between 1927 and 1935, as a major research project. His many European and Chinese assistants included Gösta Montell, who in the late 1920s was on the staff of the Ethnography Department of the Gothenburg Museum. On his travels in China as Sven Hedin’s expert adviser on purchase of “Ethnographica”, he collected large quantities of material for the Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm. On the instructions of Erland Nordenskiöld, his teacher, Montell also dispatched a large collection of Chinese, Tibetan and Mongolian artefacts to Gothenburg, including a number of Buddhist statues and paintings. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Museum of World Culture, Sweden 
Museum
Museum of World Culture 
Credit line
 

Other
Masterpieces

SEE ALL MASTERPIECES
OF THIS MUSEUM

Show original language

This is your
favorite
Masterpiece ?

Add  your reaction  now !

BACK TO LIST

Thank you

Thank you for your reaction!
Your reaction has been sent successfully. OK
팝업창 닫기

E-mail to a Friend now!

E-mail to a Friend now!

Thank you

Mail has been sent successfully. OK
팝업창 닫기