Bhutan, travelling exhibition (3)

18th century circa, Bhutan, wrathful god Vajrakila, iron with cold gold and red pigment, lent by the Gangtey monastery, Wangdu Phodrang.

18th century circa, Bhutan, wrathful god Vajrakila, iron with cold gold and red pigment, lent by the Gangtey monastery, Wangdu Phodrang.

This tantric winged deity has three heads with three eyes, six arms and his lower half is shaped like a three-sided peg or phur.bu. His head is topped with a half thunderbolt or vajra quite bigger than the ones he holds in his right hands; he wears an animal hide over his back, knotted across his chest, together with a garland of severed heads (those of the enemies of the faith) and his main hands hold a phur.bu topped with the head of wrathful god Mahakala. The other hands on the left hold a very small ritual staff and a branch of myrobalan. His face is painted with cold gold and the hair is coated with red pigment, the teeth and fangs are painted white. His five-leaf crown is adorned with a row of skulls at the bottom, over a row of neatly arranged locks of hair. His wide squarish face and large eyes are fashioned in the Tibetan way. What would be the hips is made of plaited strands of metal, adorned with a beaded belt and the  legs of an animal hat would be his loincloth, dangling over a makara head. The lower part of the three-sided peg is decorated with chains. All of which is highly symbolical, as in all tantric art.

18th century, Bhutan, monk Tendzin Chogyal, gilt copper alloy with cold gold and pigment.

18th century, Bhutan, monk Tendzin Chogyal, gilt copper alloy with cold gold and pigment.

18th century, Bhutan, monk Drukpa Kuenly, lent by Phajoding monastery, Thimphu.

18th century, Bhutan, monk Drukpa Kuenly, gilt copper alloy, lent by Phajoding monastery, Thimphu.

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