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Shrine of the 4th Celestial Buddha Amitabha on the west side of the base of the temple of Adi Buddha, Sambhunath, April 1854

Shrine of the 4th Celestial Buddha Amitabha on the west side of the base of the temple of Adi Buddha, Sambhunath, April 1854

Artist: Oldfield, Henry Ambrose (1822-1871)

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1854

Shelfmark: WD3297

Item number: 3297

Length: 268

Width: 183

Scale: Millimetres

Genre: Drawing

Watercolour of the shrine of the 4th Celestial Buddha Amitabha at Swayambhunath in Nepal, by Henry Ambrose Oldfield (1822-1871), dated April 1854. This image is inscribed on the reverse: 'Shrine of the 4th Celestial Buddha Amitabha on the west side of the base of the temple of Adi Buddha, Sambhunath, April 1854', together with notes.

Dr Oldfield, who was Residency Surgeon at Kathmandu from 1850-1863, wrote in Volume II of his 'Sketches from Nipal, Historical and Descriptive...' (1880), "Round the base of the hemisphere or mound of the temple and built partly into its plinth, opposite the four cardinal points, are five large shrines, covered with copper-gilt, and each of which contains a gilt image, rather larger than life size, of one of the divine Buddhas...The image of Amitabha in the western shrine has a richly carved gilt mitre, or mukkhor, on his head; the other Buddhas have their heads uncovered...Above each shrine is a gilt toran...on which is represented in relief a figure of Garura standing upon a pair of nagkunyas, or mermaids, each of which is supported upon the coils of the tail of a grotesque sea-dragon.'

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