Tibet, Mahakala Shanglon

15th century, Tibet, Mahakala Shanglon, copper alloy, at the Rubin Museum of Art (USA).

15th century, Tibet, Mahakala Shanglon, copper alloy, at the Rubin Museum of Art (USA).

This is a rare form – among sculptures –  of the wrathful protector Mahakala which is identified through the snake or naga hood above his head. He wears a skull crown and a garland of freshly severed heads, some earrings, a necklace, a long cloak and boots. His flat scarf is flowing upwards to form an arch, a feature typical of 15th century Tibetan sculptures. He has a precious jewel in his right hand and a pot in the other. One leg is bent, the other is stretched, each feet over a corpse.

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