Saptadashashirshi Shri Devi

Historical period(s)
15th century
Gilt-copper alloy, color, and semi-precious stones
H x W x D: 57.2 x 57.5 x 14.5 cm (22 1/2 x 22 5/8 x 5 11/16 in)
Central Tibet, Densatil Monastery
Credit Line
Purchase -- funds provided by the Friends of Asian Arts in honor of the 10th Anniversary of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Arthur M. Sackler Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


Buddhism, donkey, Lhamo, lion, makara, mongoose, skull, snake, sword, Tibet
Provenance research underway.

Lhamo, the protective deity of Lhasa, the capital of the erstwhile kingdom of Tibet, is one of a potent group of eight protectors of the Buddhist faith. She is also the patron deity of the Dalai Lama and all followers of the Gelukpa, or Yellow Hat, sect.
The sculpture captures the vivacity and ferocity of Lhamo, whose three eyes are said to flash like lightning and whose eyebrows blaze like fire. Seated astride her wild donkey mount, she brandishes her sword over the heads of enemies. Surrounding her are nineteen attendant deities riding a variety of bird and animal mounts.  This gilt-copper plaque was originally part of the decoration of the base of a funerary stupa at the renowned Densatil monastery in central Tibet.

Published References
  • Golden Visions of Densatil: A Tibetan Buddhist Monastery. Exh. cat. New York. .
  • Pilgrimage and Buddhist Art. Exh. cat. New York/New Haven. cat. 14, pp. 58-59.
  • Thomas Lawton, Thomas W. Lentz. Beyond the Legacy: Anniversary Acquisitions for the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. vol. 1 Washington, 1998. pp. 170-171.
  • Vidya Dehejia, Thomas Coburn. Devi: The Great Goddess: Female Divinity in South Asian Art. Exh. cat. Washington, 1999. cat. 22, pp. 250-251.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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