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Mahasiddha Ghantapa and the Great Flood
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Mahasiddha Ghantapa and the Great Flood

Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description The legendary Buddhist sage (mahasiddha) Ghantapa created a flood in order to teach a lesson to a king. But the flood threatened the lives of innocent bystanders, and so Ghantapa told them to pray to Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion. Avalokiteshvara dispatched a statue of himself-or perhaps an actual incarnation, judging from the way he is shown at lower right, his arm raised to halt the raging floodwaters. Ghantapa, who has the power to fly, holds his female partner as well as two ritual instruments, a bell and a vajra. He is watched over by the bodhisattva of wisdom, Manjushri, depicted in a circle.
  • Desire and Devotion: Art from India, Nepal, and Tibet in the John and Berthe Ford Collection. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara; Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque; Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham; Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong. 2001-2003.
  • Patron and Painter: Situ Panchen and the Encampment Style. Rubin Museum of Art, New York; Freer Gallery of Art, Washington. 2009-2010.
Provenance Sonan Tashi [Tibetan dealer], Hong Kong [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; John and Berthe Ford, Baltimore, August 1, 1995, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 2008, by gift.
Credit Gift of John and Berthe Ford, 2008

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18th century
opaque watercolor on cotton
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
H overall with fabric border: 29 1/8 x W: 19 1/8 in. (74 x 48.5 cm); Image H: 19 1/8 x W: 12 7/8 in. (48.5 x 32.7 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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