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A diptych representing Vajra-Dharma and Ghantapada China/Tibet
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About the object

An important pair of thangka of superb artistic and pictorial quality depicting primordial Buddha Vajra-Dharma (rdo-rje-chos) and Siddha Gha???p?da (dril-bu-pa).\nSurrounded by a blue halo and with the torso in an extremely sinuous pose, the Vajra-Dharma, with his typical pale red complexion, is depicted in the centre of thangka "A". Seated in the ardhaparya?ka posture on a tiger skin, he holds a smoking kap?la in his left hand and the ritual damaru drum in the right. The magic wand, the kha?v??ga, rests on his shoulder. Of exceptional pictorial quality, his somewhat irate face is extremely expressive and is framed by a light beard, characteristic of a young man, and long hair that is partly tied in a bun, surrounded by an elegant five-skull crown, and partly left loose on his shoulders. The figure is covered by a red loincloth, embellished by splendid bracelets, earrings, anklets and other jewellery. Set in a very fine natural setting, rendered beautifully in a style that shows a very strong Chinese influence, the principal figure is accompanied by four other characters, who are also skilfully depicted. In the top left, between the branches of a gnarled willow tree, is an unidentified figure who could be an Indian master or a Siddha, who apart from wearing a pointed red hat, also holds a book in his right hand whilst the left is in the gesture of explaining the vitarkamudr? doctrine. To his right, surrounded by peony buds, is a rare white version of Cakrasa?vara. Joined to his partner Vajra-yogin?, who embraces him, Cakrasa?vara also holds two gold phials. In the lower area, surrounded by a flaming halo and with blue skin, Dharmap?la Mah?k?la is depicted in his caturbhuja (four handed) version. He presents attributes including the tri??la trident, the kap?la, the kartika and the kha?ga sword. A portrait of the Transcendent Buddha Amit?yus in his canonical representation, frames the lower left corner of the composition.\nThe portrait of mah?siddha Gha???p?da fills the centre of thangka "B", also magisterially represented and characterised by an intricate coiffeur held together by a five-skull crown and his thick curly beard. He is portrayed in a highly plastic manner in the act of jumping to soar. As well as being bejewelled, he holds the Vajra stretched out in his right hand, and the gha??? bell in his left, also held by his partner who he embraces by his side. The other attribute that she holds out to her husband is a smoking kap?la. The Chinese-style landscape, as well as representing a fine expanse of clouds, depicts an area of water that refers to the legend about mah?siddha and his wife. Surrounding the couple who are engaged in this athletic endeavour are other five figures. In the upper left corner, immersed in the clouds is the blue-skinned Cakrasa?vara characterised by his twelve arms and embracing Vajra-yogin?. To his right, surrounded by a halo in turn surrounded by green vine sprays and peony buds, is an unidentified figure, but who thanks to two of his attributes, the kap?la and the drum, could be identified as Siddha ?amarupa. In the lower right corner, are two (one male and one female) Citipati skeletons (Dur-khrod-bdag-po). Intertwined in an exuberant death dance, both hold the kap?la and sceptre. To the left, to complete the whole composition, is the Green T?r?, Syama T?r? (Sgrol-lja?) seated at the edge of a pond in the shade of a tree and accompanied by a monk in prayer.\n\nBoth thangka present small gilt inscriptions on the reverse with the letters "Om Ah Hum". Furthermore, in the lower section of the recto, a black band with inscriptions that would seem to praise certain tantric practises relating to the figures represented. It should also be noted that both the paintings are in their original fine blue brocade frames embroidered with Chinese-style dragons.\n\nFrom a private Florentine collection, they were acquired in 1972 from the auction house Pandolfini on the occasion of the auction of furniture and furnishings from the villas "Il Tasso" and "Pipiano" that formed part of the legacy of Mr Hugh Sartorius Whitaker (1885-1971).\n\nA very similar diptych, but with two different figures, was offered by Christie's in the auction "Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art" on 7th November 2006, London, King Street (Sale 7270, lot 133).\nMeasurements with frame: length 70 cm, height 135 cm.\nlxh 40 x 70 cm
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*Note that the price is not recalculated to the current value, but refers to the actual final price at the time the product was sold.

*Note that the price is not recalculated to the current value, but refers to the actual final price at the time the product was sold.


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