| exhibitions

Previous Image | London: the fall season | Next Image

Asian Art Gallery Ltd - Christopher Bruckner

Tibeto-Chinese Figure of Begtse
17th-18th c.
gilded bronze
Height: 14 3/4 inches (37.5cm)

The deity stands defiantly, one foot resting on the belly of a horse, the other on a man. He wears Ming style armour, his left hand across his chest, the right holding a scorpion sword. His features are in a ferocious expression and his flame like hair is surmounted by a five skull tiara.

Begtse, literally ‘hidden shirt of mail’, the God of War and protector of horses is the last to join the group of eight Dharmapala. Legend has it that Begtse was converted to Buddhism by the Dalai Lama, whom he confronted as the head of a band of demons. The left hand usually holds a heart between the thumb and index fingers, although this symbols is often missing.

The Dharmapala are defenders of Buddhism, and Tantra divinities with the rank of Bodhisattva. They wage war, without mercy on the enemies of Buddhism. Their ferocious expressions are used to inspire fear in demons and malignant spirits.

all text & images © Asian Art Gallery Ltd

Previous Image | London: the fall season | Next Image | exhibitions