Tibet, Manjushri – various forms (5)

Regarding the first item below, see the new page (left-hand column of this blog) on the Ngari style and related works attributed to Western Tibet ateliers.

13th century, Tibet, Manjushri, brass, at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum, Mumbai (India), photo on Photo Dharma

White Manjushri, standing, holding the stem of a blue lotus (utpala) that supports the Prajnaparamita manuscript, his right hand held palm out to express generosity.

13th century, Tibet, Manjushri, bronze, private collection, photo on Hardt

Instead, he may have both hands doing the ‘turning the wheel of dharma‘ gesture.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Koller, sale W249AS.

From the 13th century onwards White Manjushri is often depicted with the hilt of a sword emerging from another lotus, to his right. In such case, he is usually seated and his hands do the dharmacakra gesture.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt bronze with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Nagel, sale 736 China 3.

A singular sculpture of him seated at ease and  leaning on his right arm, the right hand holding the stem of a blue lotus that supports the hilt of a sword, the left hand holding a book at heart level.

Circa 14th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt copper alloy with gems and pigment, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

Vadisimha Manjushri, seated on a lion  with his legs locked, the hands turning the wheel of dharma, the lotuses that hold the hilt of a sword and a book fastened to his elbows.

11th century, Western Tibet, Manjushri, bronze, Indian artist commissioned by the Guge kingdom, photo by T. Pritzker, published by Ulrich von Schroeder in 108 Buddhist Statues in Tibet.

An early example of Manjushri standing and wielding a sword, holding the stem of a lotus in his left hand that may or may not have supported a book.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Manjushri, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Lempertz.

Both the arapachana and the sthiracakra forms of Manjushri sit in the vajra position, brandishing a sword in the right hand and holding a book in the other, close to the heart. No lotus. On paintings, the former is white and the latter is orange (saffron).

17th-18th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt copper alloy with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

A more common form, wielding a sword and holding a lotus that supports the manuscript.

13th century, Tibet, Manjuvajra, gilt copper repoussé, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

A figure with three heads and six hands, the main ones crossed over his heart palm inwards (no vajra sceptre or vajra bell visible), the upper ones holding a sword and a lotus, the middle ones holding a vajra sceptre and visvajra – not associated with Manjuvajra, who normally has a  bow and an arrow in two of his hands. He wears a helmet, princely jewellery, a scarf and long lower garment decorated with an incised motif, plus a plain one on top that stops at knee level.

15th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt metal with turquoise inlay, Sonam Gyaltsen and atelier, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources

Manjuvajra Manjushri with one head and four hands, the lower ones would have held a bow and an arrow, the others hold a blue lotus and a (missing) book.

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Tibet, Jigten Sumgon (Rinchen Pel)

13th century, Tibet, Jigten Sumgon, copper alloy with cold gold, private collection, photo by Andre Lau for Hollywood Galleries .

A brass sculpture of the founder of the Drigung Kagyu school in full monastic attire, one of his bare feet uncovered, his right hand calling Earth to witness, the other held in the meditation gesture, like the historical buddha.

13th century, Tibet, Jigten Sumgon, gilt copper alloy, photo by Bruce M. White, at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York (USA).

Quite a different style, with gilding yet wearing patched garments.

13th century, Tibet, Jigten Sumgon, copper alloy with cold gold, at the Musée Guimet in Paris (France) photo by P. Pleynet, published on issuu

Seated in the same pose, on a stepped lion throne with stone-inlaid visvajras at the top and on the plinth, its backplate or prabhamandala decorated with viyalas, makaras and a garuda at the top…

… a vajra sceptre placed before him on the lotus base.

13th century, Tibet, Jigten Sumgon, gilt copper with cold gold, turquoise, lapis lazuli, glass, is or was at Lhasa (Tibet), published by Ulrich von Schroeder, photo on issuu.

This type of throne seems to have been particularly popular in Tibet during the 13th century to give prestige to famous lamas.

Tibet, Maitreya (6)

12th-13th century, Tibet or Nepal, Maitreya, brass with silver and copper inlay, private collection, photo on VAN HAM

Maitreya, holding a water pot in the palm of his left hand and the stem of a blue lotus in the other, his eyes inlaid with silver, the festoons of his belt, his armlets and sacred cord made of silver beading, his lips inlaid with copper. His stupa-shaped chignon is topped with a lotus bud finial.

15th century, Tibet, Maitreya, bronze with silver, copper and stone inlay, private collection, photo on Hardt

Probably made in a Tsang province atelier, this sculpture depicts him seated in the vajra position, his hands turning the wheel of dharma symbolically and holding the stem of lotuses, one of them supporting a ritual water pot.  He has a stupa in his headdress.

His eyes are inlaid with silver and copper, his jewellery with lapis lazuli and turquoise cabochons.

15th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt copper with stone inlay, private collection?, photo on GG-ART

16th-17th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt bronze with cold gold, stones and pigment, private collection, photo by Van Ham as before, sale 17th December 2017.

With no stupa or kundika, Maitreya is identified by the position of his hands.

15th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt copper alloy with stone and glass inlay, private collection, photo by Koller, sale A189AS.

Seated with his legs pendent, the feet placed on a lotus attached to the throne.

 

Tibet, Akshobhya (3)

11th-12th century, Tibet, Askhobhya, bronze (copper alloy) with traces of gold, private collection, photo on Nagel

A rare and early sculpture of Akshobhya in his bodhisattva appearance, seated on a lotus supported by an elephant throne, his hair tied in a Swat-Valley style fan-shaped bunch, adorned with simple jewellery and a tiara with a single ornament at the front. His right hand calls Earth to witness, the other is in the meditation gesture and would have held an upright vajra now missing.

13th-14th century, Tibet or Ladakh, Akshobya (labelled ‘Vajrapani’), bronze with stone inlay, private collection, photo on Eleanor Abraham

Complete with vajra sceptre in hand, coiffed with a tall crown with a kirtimukha design at the centre, his chignon topped with a half vajra finial.

Circa 15th century, Western Tibet, Akshobhya (labelled ‘crowned Buddha’), copper alloy with meal and stone inlay, cold gold, private collection, photo by Koller.

A singular example wearing a long dhoti richly incised and inlaid with copper, a matching omega-shape celestial scarf forming an arch around him, adorned with a five-leaf crown, large hoops,  bulky bracelets, armlets, anklets and necklaces, all inlaid with medium to large cabochons.

Circa 15th-16th century, Tibet, Akshobhya (labelled ‘Buddha’), gilt bronze, private collection, photo by F. Gousset for aaoarts

A curious image of Akshobhya without necklaces, bracelets, anklets or a belt, only a crown, earrings and armlets. The sash across his chest is knotted over the left shoulder. He probably held an upright vajra sceptre in his cupped hand.

17th century, Tibet, Askhbhya, copper alloy (labelled ‘wood’), private collection, photo on Artkhade

In his buddha appearance, seated on a brocaded cushion, atop a throne supported by two lions, two elephants and two kneeling figures.

Tibet, Shakyamuni – seated (22)

12th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, copper alloy with silver and copper inlay, private collection?, photo on Artkhade

This Indo-Tibetan masterpiece depicts the historical buddha with a very large lotus bud finial on his chignon, his right hand calling Earth to witness his enlightenment. There is no cloth folded over his left shoulder but we can see that a piece of the garment rests across his left arm, a common feature in Tibet.

13th-14th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni (labelled ‘Akshobhya’), copper alloy, with copper inlay and pigments, photo by VAN HAM.

14th-15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, copper alloy with copper-inlaid seam, private collection, photo by Koller, sale A187AS.

Two buddhas with a large raised urna above their unibrow and a sanghati with a copper-inlaid hem decorated with an incised geometrical pattern, a recurrent feature in 13th and 14th century Tibet, usually featuring a rice grain or a lotus motif.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze, private collection, photo by Nagel, sale 105 China 1.

A simpler way of decorating the hem, without the copper inlay. Note the ‘swallow tail’ over the left shoulder, the delicate hands and the oblong urna at the centre of the unibrow. We can see a raised wheel of dharma on the sole of his right foot.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze with copper inlay, private collection, photo by Nagel, sale 104 China 2.

Two noteworthy features here are the way the cloth drops almost vertically across the left arm and the short and broad ‘swallow tail’ arranged over the shoulder and down the arm.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Drouot.

A sanghati with a wavy pattern on the hem.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze with copper and turquoise inlay, at the MAAS in Sydney (Australia).

Shakyamuni wearing a patched robe with beaded seams, a floral pattern engraved on each patch, the border decorated with a geometrical motif, seated on a rare lotus base with an incised two-tier plinth.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by F. Gousset for aaoarts.

With two layers of clothing clearly visible and thick pleating over his left shoulder.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze with traces of gilding, private collection, photo by Koller.

17th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Mossgreen.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy with cold gold and pigment, private collection, photo by Koller, sale A189AS.

Tibet, mahasiddhas – unidentified (8)

15th century, Tibet, Mahasiddha, gilt copper, private collection, published on Artkhade.

Mahasiddhas nearly always have their hair fastened in a topknot. They occasionally wear it loose over their shoulders or piled up on their head. Seen from the front, this man has short curly hair (which may be long at the back). The wide gaze and the cross-belt indicate that he was a yogi.

16th century, Tibet, Mahasiddha, gilt metal, private collection, item 203934 on HAR.

Seated in a relaxed posture, the above leans on his left arm and holds a skull cup filled with blood in the other. He is adorned with a floral tiara and bone ornaments including the traditional cross-belt with a large flower at the centre.

18th century, Tibet, Mahasiddha, painted clay, private collection, photo by  Galerie Zacke

An elderly man seated on the skin of an antelope (identified by the hooves) and wearing a long garment. He holds a vase of longevity against his chest and may have had another attribute in his left hand.

Tibet, Amitayus (19)

14th century, Tibet, Amitayus, bronze, private collection, photo by Hardt

Amitayus, the aspect of Amitabha with a princely appearance, holds a long-life vase in both hands before him. The above is adorned with a three-leaf crown and bulky jewellery, including large floral earrings, a necklace with lotus bud pendants, matching armlets and bracelets.

14th century, Tibet, Amitayus, bronze, private collection, photo on Dalton Somaré

Undated, Tibet, Amitayus, (gilt) bronze with turquoise inlay, at the Tibet House Museum in New Delhi, photo on  Himalayan Art Resources   

This buddha wears a garment that leaves the legs uncovered to display some anklets and shin ornaments typical of Newari art. There is a half-vajra finial on his chignon.

16th century, Tibet, Amitayus, brass with stone inlay, at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum in Mumbai (India), photo on Photo Dharma

This one has a flaming jewel in his headdress.

16th century, Tibet, Amitayus, gilt bronze with stone inlay, at the National Gallery in Prague (Czech Republic).

18th century, Tibet, Amitayus, gilt bronze with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo on Hardt