Mongolia, Amitayus/Amitabha

17th century, Mongolia, buddha Amitayus, gilt metal with pigments, at the Rubin Museum of Art (US)

17th century, Mongolia, buddha Amitayus, gilt metal with pigments, at the Rubin Museum of Art (US)

Most of the 17th-18th century Mongolian statues that can be seen in museums and private collection are easy to recognise through specific features: broad shoulders and chest, a square face,  a tall lotus base with very wide petals, often overlapping, in the case of sitting figures, a long garment widening at the bottom and a billowing scarf (in the Chinese fashion) in the case of standing figures. The  gilding is usually lavish and the use of metal, stone or coral inlay is rare. Cold gold is sometimes applied to the face in the Tibetan fashion while the lips and hair are painted with pigments.

Amitayus and Amitabha are two aspects of the same buddha, Amitayus normally holds a vase of longevity while Amitabha holds a bowl.

late 17th-early 18th century, Mongolia, buddha  Amitayus, gilt copper and pigment, published by Rossi

late 17th-early 18th century, Mongolia, gilt copper and pigment, published by Rossi as Amitayus

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