Tibet, White Tara

On sculptures, what differentiates the green from the white form of Tara is that the latter sits in the vajra position.

14th century, Tibet, Tara, brass, photo by Christie's.

14th century, Tibet, Tara, brass, photo by Christie’s.

This Tara sits on an Indian Pala-style double-lotus base, her hands making symbolical gestures or mudras. She holds a long-stemmed lotus with her left hand, her celestial scarf forms an arch behind her, passes under her arms and flows upwards instead of resting on her knees. She has a wide moon-like face, with no urna and a gaze that recalls Chinese sculptures but her very slender waist and opulent bosom are typical of Indian representations of female deities. The ends of her transparent lower garment are pleated under her ankles.

14th century, Central Tibet, Tara, gilt copper alloy, at the Canada Art Gallery.

14th century, Central Tibet, Tara, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay, at the Royal Ontario Museum.

On the above picture, her dhoti is finely incised with a floral motif and held in place with a belt decorated with lotus flowers, the ends of the garment are arranged into a soft scallop shape under her ankles.

14th century, Tibet, Tara, gilt copper, at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

14th century, Tibet, Tara, gilt copper, at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

The face of this statue has been painted with cold gold and pigments. The edges of her garments are inlaid with copper, her crown and jewellery are richly inlaid with stones. She sits on a very ornate throne supported by two lions and decorated with scrolls and a motif inlaid with stones.

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