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Crowns of the Vajra Masters: Ritual Art of Nepal

Three-Dimensional Mandala
Nepal, 18th–19th century
Gilt copper inlaid with coral, lapis lazuli, and turquoise
8 1/4 x 9 3/4 in. (21 x 24.8 cm)

John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1915
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 15.95.98

This ritual object is a three-dimensional representation of Buddhist cosmology, a conceptual vision of the ordering of the universe. The crowning stupa evokes both relics of the Buddha and his wisdom. The upper terrace has the four premier emanations of the Transcendent Buddhas, Akshobhya, Ratnasambhava, Amitabha, and Amoghasiddhi; the fifth and presiding form, Vairocana, is understood to be present in the inner shrine of the stupa-mandala. The lower terrace is protected by eight directional Buddhist emanations.

[Lockwood de Forest , New York, until 1915; sold to MMA]

Exhibition History
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts from the Rooftops of Asia; Tibet, Nepal and Kashmir," April 22, 1971–June 30, 1971.

Huntington. Heckscher Museum of Art. "Lockwood de Forest: Painter, Importer, Decorator," October 29, 1976–December 5, 1976.

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