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Visions of Mahasiddha VirupaEnlarge image

Visions of Mahasiddha Virupa, 17th century

Unknown (Tibetan - 17th century)

opaque watercolour on cotton
67.3 x 47 cm
Gift of Max Tanenbaum, Toronto, 1980
National Gallery of Canada (no. 26832)

According to custom, there are ninety-four "mahasiddhas" (Great Attainers), Indian and Tibetan masters. Virupa, who may have lived in the 8th-9th centuries, played in important role in the religious traditions of the Sakyapa order. Here he is shown as an ascetic, his torso bare. At right, starting from the top, are depicted his visions: his tutelary god Hevajra, the Dakini Nairâtmâ, and the goddess Kurukullâ. The painting is of historical interest because of the unusual use of different styles for the depiction of figures and landscape.

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