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Kalachakra with Retinue and Sakyapa MonksEnlarge image

Kalachakra with Retinue and Sakyapa Monks, 19th century

Unknown (Eastern Tibet - 19th century)

opaque watercolour on cotton with silk mounting
75.2 x 58.2 cm
Gift of Max Tanenbaum, Toronto, 1980
National Gallery of Canada (no. 26854)

Kalachakra, the embodiment of the Wheel of Time, is one of the principal divinities of Tibetan buddhism. As such, he represents a philosophical system marked by astronomical and astrological speculations. In this spectacular thanka he is shown embracing Visvamata, his feminine counterpart, surrounded by a ring of fire. At lower left there is a scene from daily life with a monk seated near an altar.

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