13. Vajrapani 金刚手菩萨

Provenance:
French Private Collection, said to have been acquired in China in the early 1900s by a French military officer

The wrathful deity, Lord of Secrets, is standing in pratyalidhasana (the warrior pose) on a female figure lying on a lotus base.  His flaming red hair is surmounted by the five-pointed bodhisattva crown, and he wears elaborate jewels including a serpent necklace and armlets.  A tiger skin is wrapped around his waist.

After the subjugation of Rudra, Vajrapani is said to have emerged from the heart of Vajrakila as Buddha’s representative and was entrusted with the secret doctrines.  Compare the Vajrakumara (Vajrakila) at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from the Heeramaneck Collection (Huntington, J. and Bangdel, D., The Circle of Bliss, Buddhist Meditational Art, 2003, no. 155).