Bronze with silver overlay and opaque watercolor
Overall: 22 cm (8 11/16 in.); Base: 12.8 cm (5 1/16 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1971.14
The name Vajrapani means “he who holds (pani) the thunderbolt (vajra)” in Sanskrit. Adopted by Buddhists as a protector not only in India and the Himalayan regions of Nepal and Tibet, Vajrapani also was incorporated into art of China, Korea, and Japan. The attributes of the thunderbolt and the club were derived from images of Zeus and Hercules that travelers from the Mediterranean world brought to the region as early as the 320s BC.
This rare, early bronze image of Vajrapani visually conveys his power to overcome fear and obstacles to enlightenment, and for this reason he is invoked by Buddhist practitioners. He sits on a pedestal in the form of a rocky mountain populated with wild lions, and he has tamed poisonous snakes to use as ornaments.
The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email email@example.com.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.