Vajrabhairava, 15th century or later, polychromed wood, purchased with funds provided by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation and the Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Fund, 93.13

Cost: Free, no tickets required

3 in 30: Esoteric Buddhism’s Wrathful Protectors

Tue, Jul 7, 11 – 11:30 am
Thu, Jul 9, 6:30 – 7 pm

Meet at Visitor Services Desk

Extremely popular in the repertoire of modern Japanese tattooing are large-scale images of fierce guardians taken from the pantheon of Japanese esoteric Buddhism. These so-called myō-ō figures serve to protect the wearer’s body just as they protect the Buddhist doctrine itself. Inspired by such imagery in Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition, Dr. John Henry Rice, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Curator of South Asian and Islamic Art, examines representations of related wrathful protector deities from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition in VMFA’s South Asian Art Galleries.