Friday, October 23, 2009

A Rare Form of Padmasambhava

Padmasambhava as Guru Dupung Zilnon (gu ru bdud dpung zil gnon) is possibly related to the Vajrakilaya practices of Longchenpa called Purba Dupung Zilnon (phurba bdud dpung zil gnon). Note the unique form of the posture with the right hand holding a vajra extended outward to the side in a gesture of blessing above the heads of demons. The left hand holds a purba peg extended outward to the side and pointing downward subduing the demons below.

This extremely fine painting can be dated stylistically to the early 19th century and created in a Kham-dri style similar to the Khampa Gar painters of that time. It is not clear from the inscription on the back of the brocade (top), or the iconographic subject on the front, if the painting is a single composition or part of a related series (set) of paintings. Although one other painting with a different iconographic subject but the same stylistic elements, brush strokes and colour palette has been identified.

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