A specialist in ancient Buddhist & Hindu art. Based in both Bangkok & London I spend most of my time sourcing Buddha images for supply to private collections, institutions and Buddhist organizations worldwide. Hope you enjoy this blog & check out the website from the link in the menu below.....
Vajravarahi (Tibetan: dor je pag mo): Vajravarahi is one of the most popular and commonly depicted meditational deities of Tantric Buddhism. She is also found in the same Sanskrit literature (Abhidhana Uttaratantra) that describes the deity Chakrasamvara. Vajravarahi is a form of the deity Vajrayogini. The only difference in appearance is that Vajravarahi has a boar’s head attached to her own, either placed on the top of the head or on the right side of the head.
Vajravarahi is typically red in colour although there are other forms and traditions where she can appear in any colour. She has one main face and two hands. The boar’s head can be on top of Vajravarahi’s head or on the left side depending on the tradition. The right hand holds aloft a curved knife and the left a skullcup to the heart. In the bend of the left elbow a katvanga staff is held against the left shoulder. Adorned with bone ornaments and a necklace of heads she stands in a dancing posture on a corpse seat.
This Vajravarahi sculpture is surely one of the finest ever created. The face is beautiful although likely re-painted in the recent past. The body proportions and movement are excellent. The ornamentation is precise and detailed, also textually accurate. The elaborate scarf (not part of the textual description) is beautifully excessive with studded semi-precious stones - likely original to the piece - framing the central figure and bringing the entire sculpture to a fullness that is greater than the sum of the parts. Sculptural perfection - art and iconography!
Statue of Buddha, monastery of Tapa Kalan, Afghanistan, found in 1923. This photograph is from Paris’s Musée Guimet - Musée National des Arts Asiatiques as part of the French Museum Collection. It’s also on the cover of De Kaboul à Samarcande. Les archéologues en Asie Centraleby Svetlana Gorshenina.
AFGHANISTAN. 1995. The National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul.
Following the civil war in 1992, the museum was looted numerous times, and of the estimated 100,000 objects on display, around 70% of the artefacts were stolen, according to Fahim Rahimi, the chief curator of the National Museum of Afghanistan. Rahimi says countries such as England, Switzerland, US, Iran, Norway, Denmark and Germany have returned some looted objects to Afghanistan but he would like to see more items sent back. [x]