134 x 80.0 cm; 144.6 x 85.3 cm frame
Phalden Lhamo is a major protector deity and the only goddess in the group of deities known as the Dharmapala. A favourite deity of the Gelukpa ('Yellow Hat') sect, Phalden Lhamo is regarded as a protector of the Dalai Lama and the city of Lhasa. As a protector deity, Phalden Lhamo is depicted with a wrathful demeanour, riding an untamed mule through a sea of entrails and blood. Blue-black and haggish with three bulging eyes, upturned nose, ferocious mouth and flaming hair topped by a skull crown, she holds a skull bowl filled with bleeding organs and plucked-out eyeballs, and brandishes a 'vajra'-topped club. Below, her retinue includes the minor female divinities ('dakinis') Makaravaktra' ('crocodile-faced'), who leads her mule, and Simhavaktra, the red-bodied, lion-faced deity. This 'thangka' retains its traditional silk brocade mount.
The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.61.
Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2003, 61 (colour illus.).
A survey of Indian art (1967), Fisher Library, University of Sydney, Sydney, 06 Sep 1967–23 Sep 1967