Kashmir, The best of Manjushri (for the proud Kashmiri ;-)

8th-9th century, Kashmir, Manjushri, brass with silver-inlaid eyes, published by Carlton Rochell

8th-9th century, Kashmir, Manjushri, brass with silver-inlaid eyes, published by Carlton Rochell

This is a rare statue of Manjushri, represented with four arms, in the finest Kashmir style, recognizable through a variety of features such as the proportions of the body, the cruciform navel, the shape of the mouth and nose, the wide silver-inlaid eyes and the fine eyebrows, the shape of the double lotus throne on a square base. The ‘fleur de lys’ pendant is typical of Manjushri’s adornments, which are often very simple: big hoops, a necklace and some plain bracelets, a belt with a round medallion.

9th-10th century, Kashmir, Manjushri, brass with copper inlaid nipples and lips, incised dhoti, private collection

9th-10th century, Kashmir, Manjushri, brass with copper inlaid nipples and lips, incised dhoti, private collection

The marked pectoral muscles are typical of  ancient Kashmiri Buddhist sculpture although not always present, as we can see from the previous picture.

10th-11th century, Kashmir school in Western Tibet (i.e. Kashmiri artist in Western Tibet), brass with copper and silver inlay, private collection

10th-11th century, Kashmir school in Western Tibet (i.e. Kashmiri artist in Western Tibet), copper alloy with copper-inlaid lips and nipples and silver-inlaid eyes and urna, incised dhoti, private collection

The shape of the eyes is different, perhaps to suit the Tibetan taste better, and the metal is darker (more copper content) but the Kashmiri style is the same as before.

11th century, Kashmir, Manjushri, brass, private collection

11th century, Kashmir, Manjushri, brass with silver-inlaid eyes, private collection

The factions have softened, the mouth is wider and he now wears rosettes in his hairband and earings, the pectoral muscles and navel are not clearly marked, his crown is typical of the 10th-12th century sculptures of Kashmir/the Western Himalayas.

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