The Historical Buddha Seated on a Throne
Tibet, 18th century, Thangka surrounded by original textiles. The Buddha sits on a lotus throne with his hand is in an earth-witnessing position confirming his enlightenment. The base of the throne includes two protector lions, left and right, with the Tibetan inscription of the Buddhist creed in the center. The bottom of the inscription illustrates the wheel of the law on another lotus base. This heavenly throne also illustrates two protector deities riding horses, left and right, over which a pair of makaras (mythical creatures) can be seen, all of which are surmounted by a Garuda figure acting as an over-arching protector. This throne is enhanced by gold leaf decoration to the throne chair as well as stylized floral ornamentation leading up to the top. Surrounding the base are the Buddha’s two main disciples holding begging bowls. They are Ananda and Sāriputra.
Forty-six Buddha figures seated on lotus thrones surround the central Buddha. They refer to past eons when other Buddhas existed.
The rich deep blue nimbuses around many of the Buddha figures are created through the use of ground lapis lazuli as part of the gouache colors which are generally from vegetable and mineral dyes.
Private collection of John and Berthe Ford.