MediumPigments, gilding on sized cloth
DimensionsWork : 4 3/8 x 3 1/2 x 1/2 in. (11.11 x 8.89 x 1.27 cm)
Credit LineGift of David Kamansky and Gerald Wheaton
Jowo Rinpoche, literally meaning “Precious Lord,” is the name of a famous sculpture housed in the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, Tibet. The sculpture is a larger-than-life depiction of Shakyamuni Buddha at the moment of his enlightenment. It is said to have been made in India and brought to Tibet by a Chinese princess in the 7th century CE. It is considered one of the holiest artworks in Tibet and has been a Buddhist pilgrimage destination for more than one thousand years. This painting depicts the figure of Jowo Rinpoche dressed in princely clothing and jewelry, seated on a dragon throne with an offering table placed before him. Copies of the Jowo Rinpoche sculpture were brought to Mongolia during the 17th and 18th centuries. It is possible that this painting of Jowo Rinpoche was made for a Mongolian monk or layperson to use in personal devotions. The reverse side of the painting is inscribed with three five-syllable consecration mantras.