Tibet, Amitayus – bodhisattva appearance (7)

16th century, Tibet, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy and glass inlay, private collection, photo by Koller.

16th century, Tibet, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy and glass inlay, private collection, photo by Koller.

Thought to have been made by a Nepalese artist, this Amitayus wears a low crown and princely jewellery inlaid with medium-size glass cabochons imitating coral and turquoise. His armbands, shin ornaments and shorter necklace have a triple-gem design (triratna).

17th century circa, Tibet, Amitayus, gilt copper with turquoise inlay, private collection, published on en-seercn.com

17th century circa, Tibet, Amitayus, gilt copper with turquoise inlay, private collection, published on en.seercn.com

A mixed-style figure with a two-piece flaming mandorla, large floral disc earrings and matching crown, necklaces and armbands showing just below his shawl, a flaming jewel on top of his chignon, the design of his anklets matching that of his bracelets.

17th century, same as before, photo by Sotheby's.

17th century, same as before, photo by Sotheby’s.

This one wears a celestial scarf with loops at elbow level and a dhoti with an incised border. The large flower at the front of his crown matches his earrings.

Same as before, at the British Museum in London (UK).

Same as before, at the British Museum in London (UK).

The longer necklace of this buddha has unusual beaded pendants inlaid with stones.

Same as before, published on hara-castor.com.

Same as before, published on castor-hara.com.

This above wears a dhoti richly incised with a floral motif, no anklets.

17th century, Tibet, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy with glass inlay and pigment, private collection, photo by Koller.

17th century, Tibet, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy with glass inlay and pigment, private collection, photo by Koller.

Tibet, Amitayus – bodhisattva appearance (6)

15th century, Tibet, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay and pigments, private collection.

15th century, Tibet, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay and pigments, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

This masterpiece depicts Amitayus holding his long-life vase, bedecked with turquoise-inlaid accessories including foliate armbands and matching bracelets, three necklaces, large floral earrings with pendants, a five-leaf crown with flowing ribbons and rosettes, anklets and a belt. But for a few loose strands over his shoulders, his plaited hair is piled into a tall chignon topped with a lotus and jewel finial. His lower garment, loosely gathered over his legs, is decorated with an incised floral pattern.

Same as before, photo by Christie's.

Same as before, photo by Christie’s.

On this equally remarkable work, the dhyani buddha wears a V-shaped garment over his shoulders and breast, and an elaborate beaded belt or apron.

15th-c-tibet-amitayus-gilt-c-a-turq-43-cm-dhoticape-face-paris-christies

The face of a mythical creature, presumably Kirtimukha, can be seen at the the bottom of the central panel of his crown.

15th-c-tibet-amitayus-gilt-c-a-turq-43-cm-dhoticape-detail-paris-christies

The rim of the lotus pedestal and the hem of his garments are decorated with an incised floral pattern.

Same as before.

16th century, same as before.

On this later version, Amitayus wears a scarf over his shoulders and round his arms.

Same as before.

Same as before.

Another image with three necklaces, large foliate armbands and matching bracelets, an elaborate belt/apron with stone-inlaid pendants that rest over the dhoti. His scarf forms a loop at elbow level. This feature, of Chinese origin, can be seen on 16th century works and seems to have gained popularity during the 17th century.

16th-c-tibet-amitayus-gilt-c-a-stones-21-cm-chinese-style-kirtimukha

Kirtimukha, with vegetation coming out of its mouth, is clearly recognizable at the front of his crown.

Same as before.

16th century, Tibet, gilt copper and stone inlay, same as before.

A Nepalese-style work, with a shortish dhoti that shows shin ornaments (but no anklets) and jewellery inlaid with a variety of medium-size stones.

Same as before

16th century, Tibet, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Here, on the contrary, Amitayus wears a long dhoti loosely draped in the Chinese fashion, decorated with a floral motif and an incised hem.

Tibet, Vajravidarana

11th-12th century, Tibet, Vajravidarana, yellow silt stone, private collection, photo by Christie's.

11th-12th century, Tibet, Vajravidarana, yellow silt stone, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Vajravidarana is a male meditational deity with a bodhisattva appearance very similar to Vajrasattva but he holds a visvajra (double thunderbolt sceptre) in his right hand.

14th-14th c., Tibet or Nepal, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby's.

14th-15th c., Tibet or Nepal, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

Undated, Tibet, Vajravidarana, copper alloy with traces of gilding, private collection.

Undated, Tibet, Vajravidarana, copper alloy with traces of gilding, private collection.

15th century, Tibet, Vajravidarana, gilt copper with cold gold and pigments, private collection, published on artkhade.com

15th century, Tibet (Xuande/Yongle style), Vajravidarana, gilt copper with cold gold and pigments, private collection, published on artkhade.com

 

On paintings, he is either white  and peaceful, as the four figures above,

14th century, Tibet, Vajravidarana, green form, stone, photo by Hollywood Galleries, published on asianart.com

14th century, Tibet, Vajravidarana, green form, stone, photo by Hollywood Galleries, published on asianart.com.

or green and semi-wrathful –  this one doesn’t look very wrathful but he is definitely green! (Note that his legs are not in the vajra position).

Undated, Tibet, gilt copper alloy, at the American Museum of National History (USA).

Undated, Tibet, gilt copper alloy, at the American Museum of National History (USA).

Here is a semi-wrathful one, with frowning eyebrows.

Undated (16th century circa?), Vajravidarana, blue, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Undated (15th or 16th c?, Vajravidarana, blue, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

The third form is blue.

He is standing on two victims, adorned with a skull crown and a garland of severed heads, brandishing the visvajra like a weapon, wearing an animal skin as a loin cloth, snake ornaments and a vajra pendant across his chest.

 

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He also wears a human hide and a buffalo hide over his back.

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Undated (13th c?), same as before.

Tibet, Amitabha (2)

Second half of 15th century, Tibet, Amitabha, gilt copper repoussé and pigments, at the Freer Sackler Gallery

Second half of 15th century, Tibet, Amitabha, gilt copper repoussé and pigments, at the Freer Sackler Gallery at the Smithonian Insitution in Washington D.C. (USA).

Seated in the vajra position on a single lotus with the petals going downwards, both hands in the meditation gesture to hold a (missing) bowl, Amitabha has a round chignon topped with a lotus bud finial, a squarish face with a tiny mouth, large ears, marked pectorals and fleshy fingers and toes. His garments are draped in the Chinese fashion and decorated with an incised border.

15th century, Western Tibet, Guge period, Amitabha, bronze (brass), private collection, photo by Sotheby's.

15th century, Western Tibet, Guge period, Amitabha, bronze (brass), private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

This buddha has a small oval face with flat ears and silver-inlaid eyes that recall the much earlier Kashmiri style. He sits on a lotus base with two rows of broad petals, his robe is incised throughout and draped like the previous one, with the the lower part folded into a neat shape that imitates the petals of the pedestal.

16th century, Tibet, Amitabha, gilt copper alloy, at the Liverpool Museum (UK).

16th century, Tibet, Amitabha, gilt copper alloy, at the Liverpool Museum (UK).

This Amitabha with a small triangular face is seated on a cushion over a lotus with long stamens, wearing a robe that covers both shoulders (like seated buddhas of the Nepalese Licchavi period), his dhoti showing below the sanghati.

18th century, same as before, at the British Museum in London (UK).

18th century, same as before, at the British Museum in London (UK).

Instead of wearing a patched monastic robe that denotes humility, this buddha wears a luxury silk garment richly decorated with incisions and beading.

Tibet, Vajrasattva – seated (10)

13th-14th-c-tibet-amitayus-lab-vajrasttva-gilt-c-a-17-cm-marchance-auctioneers

13th-14th century, Tibet, Vajrasattva, gilt copper alloy, photo by Marchance auctioneers.

This blissful character could, in fact, be Vajrapani, who may be seated between lotuses that support his attributes, but then he would do two different gestures with his hands instead of having them both in the meditation gesture. The lotus are fastened to his elbows and painted with red pigment. To his right, the vajra sceptre is placed horizontally, to his left, the bell stands vertically.

16th-c-tibet-vajrasattva-gilt-bronzestones-16-cm-koller

16th century, Tibet, Vajrasattva, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay and pigments, private collection, photo by Koller.

From time to time we come across Tibetan sculptures with an oversized head. This usually indicates that it was cast separately (although it may not be the case with the above). He wears a crown with only three foliate panels, set wide apart, and has a conical chignon dyed with blue pigment.

Same as before.

Same as before.

Although buddhas normally sit in the vajra position, Vajrasattva may sit with his right leg unfolded, his foot resting on a lotus bud attached to the base.

16th century, Tibet, Vajrasattva, gilt copper with stone inlay and pigments, is or was at the Jokhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

16th century, Tibet, Vajrasattva, gilt copper with stone inlay and pigments, is or was at the Jokhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

This masterpiece depicts whim with princely accessories inlaid with clear gems and hard stones, the ribbons of his crown and his earrings shaped like buds, his celestial scarf acting as a frame and forming small loops at elbow level.

16th-c-tibet-vajrasattva-gilt-cop-stonespig-44-cm-top-jokhang

His chignon is topped with a lotus and flaming jewel finial. The face has been painted with cold gold and pigments, the hair dyed with blue pigment (probably renovated recently).

Same as before, gilt copper alloy and stone inlay, Shelley and Donal Rubin collection on Himalayan Art Resources.

Same as before, gilt copper alloy and stone inlay, Shelley and Donal Rubin collection on Himalayan Art Resources.

The cross belt, the matching festooned belt to hold the lower garment and the ample dhoti incised with a floral motif correspond to Chinese fashion.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Vajrasattva, gilt copper, private collection, photo by Christie's.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Vajrasattva, gilt copper, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

 

Tibet, Vajrasattva – seated (9)

15th-16th c., Tibet, Vajrasattva, copper alloy, silver-inlaid eyes, private collection, published on michaans.com

15th-16th century, Tibet, Vajrasattva, copper alloy, silver-inlaid eyes, private collection, published on michaans.com

Vajrasattva wears a sash across his chest, a Chinese-style shawl and ample dhoti – both with an incised hem. He is adorned with discreet necklaces and bracelets, an elegant belt, a large five-leaf crown with side bows and ribbons, large earrings with a foliate pendant.

Same as before, gilt copper with stones or glass and pigment, is or was at the Jokhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

Same as before, gilt copper with stones or glass and pigment, is or was at the Jokhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

As usual with images worshipped in Tibet (or at least in Lhasa), this buddha’s face is painted with cold gold and pigments and the hair is dyed with blue pigment which, originally, would have been lapis lazuli powder.

16th century, Tibet, Vajrasattva, brass with traces of blue pigment, private collection, photo by Cornette de Saint-Cyr.

16th century, Tibet, Vajrasattva, brass with traces of blue pigment, private collection, photo by Cornette de Saint-Cyr.

Seated on a double-lotus base with particularly broad flat petals, Vajrasattva wears a crown made of three flowers, with simplified rosettes and short bows, plain necklaces and bracelets, a belt, and a simplified version of the floral earrings with foliate pendants that help date the piece.

16th-c-tibet-vajrasattva-brasstraces-blue-pig-105-cm-shawl-over-shoulders-festooned-belt-back-cornette

Even though the piece is just over 4″ high (10,5 cm), the artist took the trouble to mark the folds of the shawl at the back and to repeat the pattern of the belt and show its festoons and pendant ribbons.

16th century, Tibet, Vajrasattva, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie's.

16th century, Tibet, Vajrasattva, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

The four-petal flower design is used here for the earrings. His accessories are inlaid with (missing) stones, the tips of the flowing ribbons are lotus buds, his dhoti reaches just below the knee and is decorated with an incised pattern and a hem with two rows of piping above shin ornaments and anklets.

 

Tibet, Vajrasattva – seated (8)

15th century circa, Tibet, Vajrasattva, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie's.

15th century circa, Tibet, Vajrasattva, bronze (brass), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

A standard image of the deity, with Chinese-style draping.

15th-c-cir-tibet-vajrasattva-c-a-cop-lips-156-cm-vajra-finial-on-chignon-shawl-christies

He has silver-inlaid eyes and copper-inlaid lips and wears a shawl over his shoulders. The fluttering foliage at elbow level is most unusual as it isn’t on the extremities of the garment.

15h century, Tibet, Vajrasattva, gilt copper alloy and stone inlay, private collection, photo by Bonhams

15th century, Tibet, Vajrasattva, gilt copper alloy and stone inlay, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

This one wears a Nepalese-style dhoti that reaches below the knee, thus showing shin ornaments that match his armbands – while the floral panels of his crown match his earrings. The hem of his garment is decorated with a floral and geometrical pattern.

Same as before

Same as before, photo by Christie’s.

Similar style but different facial features and a regal bearing.

15th-c-tibet-vajrasattva-gilt-c-a-stone-inlay-incised-hem-foliate-tiarapendant-ribbons-146-cm-face-christies

His large round earrings and other accessories are studded with dark stones instead of the usual clear gems or the turquoise and coral combination.

15th-c-tibet-vajrasattva-gilt-c-a-stone-inlay-incised-hem-foliate-tiarapendant-ribbons-146-cm-incised-beltdhoti-christies

The rim of his crown, his belt and the hem of his dhoti are incised with a geometrical motif.

15th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy and stone inlay, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

15th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy, pigments and stone inlay, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

15th-c-tibet-gilt-c-a-stonespig-251-cm-torson-bonhams

Like the sculptures made by Newari artists in Nepal at the same time, this figure wears rings on his forefingers and small fingers, and his floral earrings include a sprouting lotus bud.

Same as before, photo by Sotheby's.

15th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy and stone or glass inlay, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

The cold gold and pigments on the face and hair of this buddha were probably renewed or added at a later date.