Nepal, 13th c. Manjushri

13th century (early Malla period), Nepal, bodhisattva Manjushri, gilt copper inlaid with stones, made by a Newar artist, at Musée Guimet (Paris)

13th century (early Malla period), Nepal, bodhisattva Manjushri, gilt copper inlaid with stones, made by a Newar artist, at Musée Guimet (Paris)

This is a typical example of early Malla sculpture. The body is slightly leaning to one side while the head is gently leaning in the opposite direction. Bodily proportions are harmonious, the jewellery and belt are richly inlaid with gemstones, his lower garment or dhoti is richly decorated with thunderbolt or vajra patterns, the armbands include a large leaf design matching that of the crown, the folds of the sash are well defined. Whereas Tibetan statues normally have a round urna on the forehead and their jewellery is adorned with coral, turquoise and lapis lazuli, Nepalese bodhisattvas often have oblong, rectangular, square or tear-shaped urnas and the jewellery is inlaid with transparent stones such as rubies, garnets, emeralds, etc.

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