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Himalayan Pilgrimage: Liberation Through Sight

June 15, 2012 - November 25, 2012

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Vajrapani; Tibet, 16th century; gilt bronze; 8⅝ × 5¾ × 2¾ in.; on long-term loan from a private collection.

The journey of Himalayan Pilgrimage continues with Liberation Through Sight, an exhibition that focuses on artworks created as vehicles to enlightenment.

Vajrayana, the esoteric form of Buddhism that prevails in Tibet and the Himalayas, employs myriad icons of deities to reveal the true nature of the Buddha’s teachings. The making of these icons is in itself a devotional act, bringing merit to the artist as well as to the devotee who engages in the practice of visualization through the image. Artists of these works are anonymous, viewed as selfless interpreters of a high spiritual teaching. Their work serves to assist others in gaining understanding of the Buddha’s teachings through visual interpretation.

View an exceptionally rare set of seven paintings depicting the lineage of the Great Fifth Dalai Lama, painted around 1815 upon the death of the ninth Dalai Lama, as well as images of compassionate and wrathful deities of the Tibetan pantheon.

A continuation of Himalayan Pilgrimage: Journey to the Land of Snows, which explored the journey of Buddhism across several centuries and from India into Tibet.

The works in this exhibition are on long-term loan from a single private collection.

Himalayan Pilgrimage is organized by Senior Curator for Asian Art Julia M. White.