Green Tara

Green Tara

c. 1260s

Gum tempera, ink, and gold on sized cotton

Overall: 52.4 x 43.2 cm (20 5/8 x 17 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund by exchange 1970.156


Did you know?

There are 17 different bodhi trees behind Green Tara's architectural shrine.


This work of stunning refinement is in the Nepalese style of the early central Tibetan painting tradition. It is distinguished by its jewel-like use of color, delicate shading, exquisite detailing, and most of all a lilting, confident quality of the line drawing that imparts an unparalleled elegance and clarity to the overall composition. Some scholars attribute this painting to Aniko, a celebrated Newari artist who traveled from Nepal to Tibet during the 13th century. The central figure is a popular female emanation from the Buddha Amoghasiddhi who presides over the north and is green in color as well. Her left hand is held up in the gesture indicating that she is a source for transmitting Buddhist teachings, and the stem of a blue lotus winds gracefully through her fingers. Her hair is arranged asymmetrically with a big bun over her left shoulder and long loose curls falling behind her right. Delicate curls of hair are arranged symmetrically over her forehead.

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