On Chenrezig’s left side, at the level of his heart, is the gentle face of a wild deer; the deer’s skin is draped over his shoulder. The deerskin is an ancient symbol of renunciation, as wandering mendicants often took the skin of a deer as a meditation seat, and sometimes as a garment and blanket. This symbolic meaning applies, as Chenrezig, a Bodhisattva, has renounced the snares of worldly existence, but here it further symbolizes his boundless compassion for sentient beings. According to legend, Chenrezig once took rebirth as a wild deer, but he had such heartfelt compassion for the hunter who chased him that he willingly laid down his life.
The thangka depicts a beautifully detailed Chenrezig Painting and is unframed and ready for Western style framing. It is done entirely by hand on cotton canvas using natural mineral and vegetable pigments with 24K gold details. The complicated designs, intricate brushstrokes, and extraordinary detail make these thangkas genuine works of art.