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This palm leaf manuscript illustration was done in the 12th century at one of the great monastic centers in North India. This Green Tara, shown bestowing boons, is only 2 ¼ inches tall. It is amazing how the artist has managed to subtly depict this dynamic figure in great detail. Such imagery went on to have a great impact on the emerging painting traditions of Tibet.

1640–50 Marwar style. Madhumadhavai Ragini with peacock. Ragamala Series (Garland of Musical Modes), India Rajasthan, India,. The Met

"Chand Bibi hawking with attendants in a landscape", ca. 1700, India, Deccan, source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Portrait of the Indian Monk Atisha, early to mid-12th century. Tibet. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Gift of The Kronos Collections, 1993 (1993.479) | The Indian monk Atisha was ordained at Bodhgaya and the abbot of the vast Vikramashila monastery before traveling to Tibet in 1042. This is the earliest portrait of this great scholar; it was done in Tibet several generations after his death. #Buddhism

Model of the Mahabodhi Temple, 12th century. North India, Bihar. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Gift of John and Fausta Eskenazi, 2006 (2006.218) | While the Mahabodhi temple has undergone countless renovations, this small model of the temple gives us a clear sense of its form in the 12th century. Such images were produced for pilgrims and have been found across India, Myanmar, Nepal and Tibet. #Buddhism

Black Stork in a Landscape, India, probably Lucknow, 1780

This palm leaf manuscript illustration was done in the 12th century at one of the great monastic centers in North India. This Green Tara, shown bestowing boons, is only 2 ¼ inches tall. It is amazing how the artist has managed to subtly depict this dynamic figure in great detail. Such imagery went on to have a great impact on the emerging painting traditions of Tibet.

Shiva Seated with Uma (Umamaheshvara), 11th century. Thakuri dynasty. Nepal (Kathmandu Valley). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Samuel Eilenberg Collection, Ex Coll.: Columbia University, Purchase, Rogers Fund, 1987 (1987.218.1) | Shiva (Maheshvara) is shown together with his wife Uma (Parvati) in an image of great tenderness and grace, seated in royal ease on an elliptical lotus platform.

Six-Armed Avalokitesvara Expounding the Dharma: Folio from a Manuscript of the Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom), early 12th century. India (West Bengal) or Bangladesh. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 2001 (2001.445j) | Palm leaf manuscripts housed in the great north Indian monasteries were important for the spread of doctrine and many were brought by monks to Tibet. This text assembles the totality of Mahayana doctrine…