Tibetan antiques at Himalayan Antiques
Contemporary Thangka: Vajrasattva in Yab-yam

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Directory: Popular Collectibles: Cultural: Pre 1970: item # 334274

Please refer to our stock # 20536f when inquiring.

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Himalayan Antiques
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Ipswich, Massachusetts 01938

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Contemporary Thangka: Vajrasattva in Yab-yam
Vajrasattva is the Bodhisattva of purification and represents the purity of awareness. He holds a vajra to his heart and a bell to his left hip. Here he is shown in sexual union (yab-yum) with his consort who holds a skull cup in her left hand.

This thangka is unmounted and suitable for framing behind glass. Including the border it measures 21" by 30". The artist has his own style. Using a limited palette of muted colors and only a few simple symbols against the dark background allows the subject to stand out more than in most conventional thangkas. Free use of gold and great attention to detailing in the subject's clothing adds to this effect.

As our name implies, Himalayan Antiques specializes in dealing in antiques from the region, but in the course of our annual buying trips we have become friendly with one of the leading dealers in Kathmandu of new thangka paintings. This family employs a number of the most skillful artists in the field, and we always purchase several new thangkas just to meet the needs of customers.

This year we looked over hundreds of thangkas to make our selection of just a few dozen. The range of qualities is extensive. The best thangka painters work almost exclusively on consignment and the are often booked years in advance. The least talented painters churn out large numbers of small and simple thangkas to be sold to tourists for a few dollars each. In between these extremes is a wide range of qualities and levels of artistry. Better artists are usually given larger canvases with more detailed and complex designs and are allowed more of the costly 24k gold to work with. Their works can cost well over a thousand dollars and take over a year to produce.

By the same artist we have a thangka of White Tara at the same price. See photo #6 in this series.

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