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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

 


Maker(s):Unknown
Culture:Tibetan
Title:Kalachakra
Date Made:Late 18th century
Type:Painting
Materials:Tangka: Colors on cloth, cloth mountings, wooden dowels
Measurements:Mount: 52 1/4 in x 29 1/2 in; 132.7 cm x 74.9 cm; Image: 25 3/4 in x 17 in; 65.4 cm x 43.2 cm
Accession Number:  AC 1952.33
Credit Line:Gift of Mrs. George L. Hamilton
1952_33_det.jpg

Description:
Tangka

Label Text:
This scroll painting shows a Vajrayana Buddhist personification of time, Kalachakra: a figure with a dark blue torso and twenty-four arms, four faces, and two legs. Kalachakra embraces his consort Vishvamata. Together known as yab-yum (father-mother), the figures represent a union of compassion with wisdom—enlightenment. They each carry weapons, drums, and skulls to symbolize their liberation from suffering, and they are surrounded by nine masters studying and teaching toward enlightenment.

Below the yab-yum, an inscription reads, “In emptiness, in the form of emptiness, arises the glorious Kalachakra.” Buddhism teaches that all things alter in relation to each other. If nothing exists on its own, everything is empty: impermanent, evolving, transforming. If everything—you, this scroll, this campus—lacks permanence, and rather shifts through relative experiences, then we are all made of time.

Tags:
landscapes; figures; deities; worship; decorative arts; decoration and ornament; religion

Link to share this object record:
https://museums.fivecolleges.edu/detail.php?t=objects&type=ext&id_number=AC+1952.33

Research on objects in the collections, including provenance, is ongoing and may be incomplete. If you have additional information or would like to learn more about a particular object, please email fc-museums-web@fivecolleges.edu.

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