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Protector Deity Begtse
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Protector Deity Begtse

Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Emerging from a field of red, the protector deity Begtse furiously defends the Buddhist teachings from enemies of the religion. The stark white eyes, teeth, and skull and bone ornaments of Begtse and his entourage are immediately perceptible, but it takes greater concentration to see the subtle gold lines that articulate the rest of the composition against its crimson ground. True to his name, which means “coat of mail,” Begtse wears an elaborate suit of armor, and he brandishes a scorpion-handled sword, a tall spear bearing a severed head, and the heart of a defeated opponent. An important protector of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism, Begtse is also prominent in Mongolia.
  • 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.
Provenance Stuart Perrin, New York; purchased by John and Berthe Ford, Baltimore, March 25, 1984; given to Walters Art Museum, 2015.
Credit Gift of John and Berthe Ford, 2015

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18th century
opaque watercolor and gold on cotton
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
Image H: 27 3/8 × W: 19 5/8 in. (69.53 × 49.85 cm); Framed H: 46 5/8 × W: 23 3/16 × D: 2 5/8 in. (118.4 × 58.9 × 6.6 cm)
  • Tibet (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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