This scroll painting or tangka depicts the six-armed Mahakala (phonetic Tibetan: Yeshe gonpo chak zhipa; transliterated Tibetan: Ye shes mgon po phyag bzhi pa) with Bodhisattvas and bird-headed deities. Mahakala is the great protector of Buddhist doctrines. He holds a sword and a chopper in his middle and lower-right arms, and a trident and skull cup in his middle and lower-left arms. A Chinese inscription on the lower edge of the tangka dates it to the equivalent of 1478. It is one of a number that show the continuing Tibetan and Nepalese influences on the Buddhist arts of China. This phenomenon had begun under the Mongol Yuan dynasty in the 13th century. This group of tangkas may be linked to the Tibetan Buddhist temple called ‘Temple of Great and Mighty Benevolence which Protects the Dynasty’. This was a centre of Tibetan Buddhist teaching in the north-west of Beijing.
Location: In Storage