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Crowns of the Vajra Masters: Ritual Art of Nepal

Panel of a Buddhist Ritual Crown with Ratnasambhava, the Transcendent Buddha of the South
India (Jammu and Kashmir) or western Tibet, 10th–11th century
Wood with traces of polychrome
H. 6 7/8 in. (17.5 cm); W. 3 7/8 in. (9.8 cm)

Purchase, Lita Annenberg Hazen Charitable Trust Gift and Cynthia Hazen Polsky Gift, 1992
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992.299

This panel is among the earliest evidence of a Buddhist ritual crown made of polychromed wood. Ratnasambhava is enthroned in a pillared shrine, the arch formed by leonine and elephantine composite creatures, with lion supports below. Above hovers the beaked face of a mythical protective demon (kirtimukuta). The panel is framed by a border of large pearl roundels. A hole at the base allowed it to be secured to a headband.

Exhibition History
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Crowns of the Vajra Masters: Ritual Art of Nepal," December 16, 2017–December 16, 2018.