China, Tangut Xia dynasty (1032-1227), early 13th century / Thangka with Vighnantaka / early 13th centuryChina, Tangut Xia dynasty (1032-1227), early 13th century
Thangka with Vighnantaka
early 13th century

View Larger Image

View Full Catalog Record Below

This image is one of over 108,000 from the AMICA Library (formerly The Art Museum Image Consortium Library- The AMICO Library™), a growing online collection of high-quality, digital art images from over 20 museums around the world. offers subscriptions to this collection, the finest art image database available on the internet. EVERY image has full curatorial text and can be studied in depth by zooming into the smallest details from within the Image Workspace.
Preview the AMICA Library™ Public Collection in Luna Browser Now

  • Cultures and time periods represented range from contemporary art, to ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian works.
  • Types of works include paintings, drawings, watercolors, sculptures, costumes, jewelry, furniture, prints, photographs, textiles, decorative art, books and manuscripts.

Gain access to this incredible resource through either a monthly or a yearly subscription and search the entire collection from your desktop, compare multiple images side by side and zoom into the minute details of the images. Visit for more information on the collection, click on the link below the revolving thumbnail to the right, or email us at .

Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Chinese
Creator Dates/Places: China
Creator Active Place: China
Creator Name-CRT: China, Tangut Xia dynasty (1032-1227), early 13th century
Title: Thangka with Vighnantaka
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1200
Creation End Date: 1233
Creation Date: early 13th century
Object Type: Textiles
Materials and Techniques: tapestry with narrow tabby border near bottom; silk and pearls
Dimensions: Overall: 102.3cm x 74cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1992.72
Credit Line: Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund
Context: The Buddhist deity Vighnantaka plays a protective role, destroying obstacles that stand in the way of spiritual enlightenment. Fierce and extremely powerful in appearance, he holds a noose in his left hand and a sword in his right, while standing on theprostrate bodies of the god Shiva and the elephant-headed god Ganesha. Engulfing all three is an aureole of flames through which members of Vighnantaka's entourage charge, brandishing weapons. The scene, including the aureole, is supported on a lotus throne and set within a floral vine scroll. Beneath the lotus throne are five dakinis (demigoddesses embodying wisdom) flanked by smaller figures of Vighnantaka. Above the central scene are the Five Transcendent Buddhas. A scrolling floral vine with flowers supporting Buddhist symbols borders the entire thangka (icon). The Tibetan style of this work reflects the close ethnic and cultural ties that linked Tibetans with the Tangut peoples of Tangut Xia. Not only did Tibetan Buddhism predominate in these regions, but during the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, Tibetan clerics served as imperial preceptors at the Tangut court. Tangut kesi (silk tapestry) are exceedingly rare. One, very similar in both design and style, includes the portrait of a knownTibetan historian who died in 1216. Because an inscription states that it was woven as a gift for him, it was probably made before his death. A third kesi with the figure of Green Tara was excavated in the former Xixia territories, from the ruins of thegarrison city of Khara Khoto. Not only does it share a number of decorative elements with this Vighnantaka thangka, but the trapeze shape common to the two typically occurs in Tangut painted icons as well. A.W.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1992.72
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

AMICA PUBLIC RIGHTS: a) Access to the materials is granted for personal and non-commercial use. b) A full educational license for non-commercial use is available from Cartography Associates at c) Licensed users may continue their examination of additional materials provided by Cartography Associates, and d) commercial rights are available from the rights holder.

Home | Subscribe | Preview | Benefits | About | Help | Contact
Copyright © 2007 Cartography Associates.
All rights reserved.