Palden Lhamo’s Pure Land

In the center of the thangka, against the background of a terrifying palace built of bones and skulls, filled with fire and smoke, black Palden Lhamo riding on a mule along the “ocean of blood and fat”. She is called the goddess who brings war, disaster and magical diseases. In her right hand she holds a sandalwood scepter (be-con), in her left ― a skull cup filled with mustard and blood seeds, symbolizing passion and death. She is adorned with a garland of human heads strung on the intestines and wears a flowing two-tone cloak. The tiger-skin skirt is belted with two snakes like belts. Hanging from her belt is a long club that she received from the demon Mara. Her saddle is adorned with a huge skull and covered with a freshly refreshed Yaksha hide. From the demons of Tsen (btsan) Lhamo received many gifts that she carries with her as attributes: a bag of diseases, two magic cubes that predict the future, red boards on which Yama carved death signs, a colored ball of thread as a symbol of death. Lhamo’s special emblem, the peacock feather umbrella, is said to be a gift from Brahma.
The terrible goddess is accompanied by two fierce maidservants. In front of Lhamo are three skull bowls ― a mystical offering of the five senses. 

In this thangka, I wanted to create a complex and symbolic composition, without losing sight of the whole and without falling into a simple enumeration of objects. 

Palden Lhamo’s Pure Land

2020, 78 x 52 cm

canvas, mineral pigments, gold, brocade, silk

 

Author’s property