Museum of Himalayan Arts


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Image: Sitatapatra
Artist: Master Locho
Photo: Weinberg-Clark Photography, United States

Ideal Artwork for Living Room, Prayer/ Meditation Room.

In traditional Tibetan Buddhist belief, Sitatapatra is the Goddess of the White Parasol who protects mankind against supernatural danger. She originated from the crown protrusion of the Shakyamuni Buddha who represents the historical Buddha born with the name Siddartha Guatama, who is depicted in orange in the top left corner of the painting. To his right is the blue medicine Buddha who represents the knowledge of healing and medicine. Sitatapatra is in the center of the painting, holding her white parasol and an arrow in her frontal hands, representing her protection of mankind from suffering, illness, desire, and obstacles. In her right hand, she holds a dharma wheel in a refuge giving mudra.

This Sitatapatra was painted with mainly mixtures of mineral pigments and glue onto a white canvas in the traditional Tson-thang(all-color) style. The smaller details in this painting were done in pure gold. If you look closely, you may notice that Sitatapatra has one thousand heads, hands, and feets. This painting is unique because the artists took special care to include the finest details on each of the faces.Each hand or foot has five fingers or toes, respectively, and the palm of every hand contains an opened eye that represents Sitatapatra's all-seeing protection. Sitatapatra's feet hover slightly above the people and animals depicted near the bottom of the painting as a means to protect them from all demons and malicious intentions.

This painting was completed by Master Locho and his assistant Tenzin Rabgyal over three years with turquoise, cinnabar vermillion red, azurite blue, ultramarine blue, malachite green, orpiment yellow, pure gold and earth white (calcium carbonate white chalk).