Mandala of Vajrabhairava
There are different religious and philosophical beliefs that plays important role in the arts of Asia. Every individual country has different beliefs and religion. It is not enough that we only read and discuss about these differences but we actually need to see evidences and artworks. These artworks give us deeper knowledge on how people from ancient Asia were influenced by their philosophical and religious beliefs. The mandala, a mystical condensed image of the universe, is a valuable aid to meditation in Tibetan Buddhism. Located in the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco is the Mandala of Vajrabhairava, which was painted in the Nepalese style. It is characterized by the floral convolutions of the background, a style that associated with Ngor, the legacy of the Nepalese artists, invited to decorate the Ngor Monastery in 1429 (Figure 1). The mandala’s image has a dimension of 16-½ inches tall and 15 ¾ wide by 41.9 centimeters tall and 40 centimeters wide. It has an overall dimension of 34 inches in height and 20 inches in width by 86.4 centimeters in height and 50.8 centimeters in width . Mandalas maybe thangkas, wall paintings, three-dimensional forms of gilded metal inlaid with precious stones or colored sand drawings which are used for temporary worship. There are two types of the Mandala of Vajrabhairava that I found in the museum. The first kind of mandala that I mentioned and I will be analyzing is a mandala painting in cotton. The other one is a mandala in an inlaid metal. It has a dimension of 3 inches in height x diameter of 13 ¼ inches, by 7.6 centimeters in height x diameter of 33.7 centimeters. The mandala is in excellent condition. Every details of the artwork are clearly visible. Anyone will be mesmerized by its beauty and the diligence that the sculptor did in creating this work of art (Figure 2). While painted mandalas are usually found in museums' collections, examples in metal are very rare. We are very fortunate...
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