3. A fine thangka of Shakyamuni
Tibet, c. 18th century
Ground mineral pigments and gold on cloth
Image: 24 x 15 in. (61 x 38 cm)
Framed: 31 1/2 x 21 1/2 in. (80 x 55 cm)
Provenance: Collection of late John Walden (1925-2013)
Seated in dhyanasana on a lotus base, his hands in bhumisparsamudra, in the left an alms bowl, dressed in multicolored patchwork robes, the face with serene expression backed by a nimbus and aureole, all surmounting Shadakshari and Vajrasattva below.
"Born in the Shakya race through skillful means and compassion; destroying the army of Mara who was unable to be destroyed by others; with a body radiant like a mountain of gold. Homage to you, King of Shakya." (Sakya liturgical verse)(HAR).
"Shakyamuni Buddha is the founder of the Buddhist religion. He lived and taught in India in the sixth century B.C.E., a time of burgeoning religious and philosophical thought from Greece to China. Born as the crown prince of the great Shakya Kingdom, the young Siddhartha Gautama was groomed to be a king in accordance with the wishes of his royal father. However, when he was about 29 years old, he learned of the deep suffering experienced in life by people. He left his palace life, gave up his fine garments and jewelry in order to find the causes of this suffering and the means to overcome it. After about six years of study, self-deprivation, and deep meditation he finally realized his goal. He had become an enlightened one (a Buddha). After this, he is said to have walked to a deer park in Sarnath (Benares) on the outskirts of Varanasi in India. Here he gave his first sermon, an event which is called the turning of the wheel of Buddhist law (Dharmacakra). The wheel as a metaphor for Buddha’s teaching will become a prevalent symbol in Buddhist art"
- Khan Academy