Revere Auctions
Live Auction

Spring Showcase: Asian Art, Decor, & Jewelry

Wed, Mar 27, 2024 11:00AM EDT
Lot 365

18th c. Tibetan Mandala Thangka

Estimate: $400 - $800

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $25
$300 $50
$1,000 $100
$3,000 $200
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000
$500,000 $25,000
$1,000,000 $50,000
$10,000,000 $100,000
An 18th-century Tibetan painted mandala thangka depicting various lamas, an outer ring of repetitive mantra script, and protective inscription at all eight gates leading into the central square buildings. With provenance affixed to the verso.

Accompanied by a letter which reads:
Tibetan Mandala, gouache on cotton.
Mandala of Samsara.
The painted mandala is a two-dimensional, symbolic and representational blueprint. It is believed that two-dimensional mandalas have a remarkable ability to intensify the beholder's power of imagination and to stimulate the creativity needed by the practitioner to visualize the three-dimensional. Looking at mandalas is thought to help create a model for the practice of contemplative visualization.
This Mandala has an outer circle of flames protecting the inner residence. Moving toward the center this is followed concentrically by what is thought to be a Vajra fence, a repetitive mantra script and then finally the lotus base containing the lotus petal within a circle. The square within the circle represents the building, in the center of which lives the deity. The building is constructed to face in four directions.
According to Tibetan convention, East is in the front, and South, West and North follow in a clockwise direction. A door faces from each direction location and is guarded by gate protections. The inner square contains a circle divided into nine parts, that contain what looks to be a mantra of um.
Tibetans share with all Buddhists a belief in a cycle of beginningless rebirth called samsara, where beings are reborn according to the law of Karma. Briefly, virtuous actions result in happiness in the future, while non-virtuous deeds result in suffering. It is considered desirable to be reborn as a human or god, however, the goal of the Buddhist path is to escape entirely from the cycle and to end suffering and future rebirth forever. This state beyond suffering is called nirvana.

Sight; height: 13 1/4 in x width: 11 3/4 in. Framed; height: 23 in x width: 21 1/2 in x depth: 3/4 in.


Study images closely. The work is of significant age and therefore show signs of wear as expected, numerous areas of minor paint loss, and evidence of creasing or folding. Close inspection with a black light reveals no evidence of restoration or inpainting. Some of the lettering appears to be faded or have been vulnerable to cleaning.

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