Early 18th to early 19th century Tibetan thangka in original mounts depicting six-armed Mahakala standing on a lotus base trampling on elephant headed Vigneshwara (Lord of Obstacles). Mahakala is an emanation of Boddhisattva Avalokiteshvara and the leader of the dharmapalas (Defenders of the Buddhist Law), his name means “beyond time/death”, and he represents the flow of time. This is 6-armed form of Mahakala with each hand holding a different implement, the crown is adorned with 5 skulls and a snake, he is wearing an elephant skin, a tiger pelt and a snake belt with severed heads. An awesome flaming halo at his back, sun and moon among clouds behind him. Beautifully painted with natural mineral pigments on cotton, excellent quality painting, wonderful ferocious face, some expected wear, overall in great condition for a 200 plus years old devotional object. Comes from old Washington DC collection. Painting size 16 x 13 inches (42 x 31 cm), mounts 30.5 x 19 inches (77 x 48 cm).