Tantric Deity Offerings
Tantric Deity Offerings

Tantric Deity Offerings

Mongolian (Mongolian)
19th century
Pigments on sized cloth; carved wood frame
Image : 15 1/8 x 24 1/2 in. (38.42 x 62.23 cm)
Frame : 21 1/2 x 29 1/2 in. (54.61 x 74.93 cm)
Credit Line
Hope College Collection, Gift of David Kamansky and Gerald Wheaton
Object Number

Kangdze is the Tibetan term for paintings that depict offerings to various tantric deities. Such paintings were traditionally displayed in the chapels of Buddhist temples and monasteries, especially during the performance of rituals associated with the designated deities. As is typical for the genre, the composition of this kangdze painting is organized around a central image of Mount Meru, the symbolic heart of the Buddhist universe, which appears here as a tree-like form with clouds and rocks surrounding a temple-like building that probably represents the earthly realm. Another tower-like structure in the clouds above Mount Meru probably represents the heavenly realm. The groups of humans, demons and animals arranged to either side of the central images represent  worshippers and offerings to the designated deities, who do not actually appear in the image. A garland of skulls, severed heads and crows at the top of the painting adds a note of macabre festivity to the scene.

Object Type