Tibet, White Tara (4)

15th century, Tibet, Tara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie's.

15th century, Tibet, Tara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This richly gilt sculpture depicts White Tara seated on a Yongle-style lotus base, her hair arranged sideways, a sash tightly drawn across her chest and back, her right hand displaying supreme generosity, the other hand bestowing refuge – with the tip of the ring finger touching the tip of the thumb. This gesture ( kartari mudra) is often confused with the other gesture that White Tara may commonly display, whereby the tip of the forefinger touches the tip of the thumb (vitarka mudra).

Same as before.

Same as before.

On this Chinese-style work, the left hand doesn’t display either of these gestures, the tip of the thumb is met by the tip of the middle finger.

15th-c-tibet-tara-gilt-c-a-not-vitarka-christies

This is the gesture for bestowing patience (shuni mudra).

Same as before, private collection, published on the-saleroom.com.

Same as before, private collection, published on the-saleroom.com.

Another example of White Tara displaying this gesture with her left hand.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Tara, brass with cold gold and pigments, silk apron and collar, at the British Museum in London (UK).

17th-18th century, Tibet, Tara, brass with cold gold and pigments, silk apron and collar, at the British Museum in London (UK).

 

2 thoughts on “Tibet, White Tara (4)

  1. I guess each tine aspect of each figure has an importance and significance, but might contemporary fashion influence some of the pieces – intrigued by the off-centre pony-tail! I’m sure most people venerating these beautiful figures would “read” them instantly.

  2. Indeed, the style of an accessory, hairdo or item of clothing often follows the fashion of the time in a given area and culture. Then, some particular styles were imitated long afterwards. That hair arrangement is unusual for a sculpture of Tara.

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