Surrounding the Sacred Space: Two Painted Scrolls from the Collection of Namgyal Monastery in Mustang, Nepal

Bellini, Chiara (2020) Surrounding the Sacred Space: Two Painted Scrolls from the Collection of Namgyal Monastery in Mustang, Nepal. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 30 (4). pp. 635-678. ISSN 1356-1863

SURROUNDING THE SACRED SPACE copied edited 28 March 2020 and returned by CB 30 March 2020.pdf - Accepted Version

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The Collection of Namgyal Monastery (Mustang, Nepal) preserves two long and narrow scrolls painted on both sides, of exquisite artistic quality. This article describes and investigates the iconographic and symbolic meaning of the paintings and the use of these objects. One of the scrolls shows the Eight Auspicious Symbols and deities that personify diverse group of offerings painted in an elegant Newari style. The other scroll features an intriguing representation of the Eight Charnel Grounds in a continuous landscape. Full of delicate and charming details, it illustrates the Mahasiddhas, Guardians, Nāgas and stupa of the respective directions. The back of both scrolls has a vajra chain at the bottom and flames represented above it. The scrolls must have been used to encircle specific mandalas. Such objects are rather rare, and it is interesting to reflect on their former use, even more so as no contemporaneous objects of that type are known. The stylistic features of the paintings reveal the broader relationships of the Mustang region to neighbouring areas. Relationships can also be established to objects preserved in the same collection, such as a collection of metal stupa of similar design and typical for the Mustang region and the western Himalayas.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Namgyal Monastery; Offering Deities; Eight Charnel Grounds; Painted Scrolls; Buddhist Art; Mustang Art
Subjects: W100 Fine Art
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Arts
Depositing User: Ellen Cole
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2020 14:22
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 14:00

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