Tibet, Shakyamuni – seated

8th-9th century, buddha Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy and blue pigment, at the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford, UK).

8th-9th century, buddha Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy and blue pigment, at the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford, UK).

This Nepalese-style (Licchavi period) buddha has an unusual head with very large beads forming his hair and a very big ushnisha at the top. The three folds on his neck are very pronounced too. This contrasts with the slender body, the transparent clothes noticeable only through the incisions marking the hem and the small hole marking his navel. These differences and the use of copper alloy, cold gold and blue pigment suggest that it was probably made in Tibet for Tibetan use but we don’t know if the artist was Tibetan or Nepalese.

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