Attributes of Mahākāla in a "rgyan tshogs" banner. Distemper painting by a Tibetan painter.
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About this work
The skull bowl and chopper indicate that this is the banner of the Buddhist deity Mahākāla. There is also a vase and a second skull bowl with eyes protruding from it and also elephant skins which are an attribute of Mahākāla. Also included are flayed human skins indicating the austerities undertaken by ascetics; horses, lions, goats, sheep and birds, presumably of some symbolic import. They may also figure in stories by Tibetans about Mahākāla
1 painting : distemper on linen ; distemper 45 x 28.5 cm
Marianne Winder, Catalogue of Tibetan manuscripts and xylographs, and catalogue of thankas, banners and other paintings and drawings in the Library of the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, London 1989, p. 100, thankas banners and paintings no. 42
Wellcome Library no. 47087i