We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Vaishravana, the god of wealth

15th century


Unknown Artist

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    15th century
    Media category
    Materials used
    thangka; gouache on cotton
    45.9 x 38.4 cm sight; 48.4 x 40.0 cm sheet; 120.0 x 69.0 cm overall
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased 1997
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

  • About

    This 'thangka' of the Dharmapala (protector) deity Vaishravana is one of the earliest in the gallery's collection. Vaishravana is venerated as a god of wealth, guardian deity of the North and a follower of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. He is shown seated on a white snow lion, holding a jewel-spitting mongoose and a victory banner or standard. As is typical of 'thangkas', the deity is the central focus of the painting and is shown front-on, though sometimes in a schematic style. The picture plane is flat with no attempt at perspective. Rather the deity and his entourage are depicted in accordance with a hierarchical arrangement. While this format and iconography conform to an accepted convention, it shows the complex compositional treatment favoured by the Newari artists of Nepal. This example also shows the influence of Chinese painting styles in its use of flat, loose colour, its decorative treatment and stylisation, and in the clothing of the central deity.

    The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.62.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 4 publications