Pala India, Vairocana

11th-12th century, Northern India, buddha Vairocana, copper alloy with silver inlay, private collection

11th-12th century, Northern India, buddha Vairocana, brass with silver and copper inlay, private collection.

This small statue (8 cm) shows Vairocana doing a symbolical gesture with both hands at heart level while sitting in the lotus position on a tall double lotus base with no beading. His wide round urna and his necklace are inlaid with silver while the hem of his dhoti and his lips are inlaid with copper. The only jewellery he wears is that necklace. His small crown made of three triangular leaves is attached with modest ribbons falling discreetly on his shoulders. The overall impression is one of sobriety, balance in the body proportions, and a certain harshness in the face due to a gaze that lacks warm.

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