Tibet, Tsongkhapa

16th century, Tibet, teacher Tsong Khapa, gilt copper alloy, private collection.

16th century, Tibet, teacher Tsong Khapa, gilt copper alloy, private collection.

The founder of the Gelugpa order is sometimes represented as a deified lama, holding two long-stemmed lotuses, one topped with a manuscript and the other with a lotus bud. Here he is sitting on a small double-lotus base with almost rectangular petals and only one row of thick beading, bare-headed, his eyes closed in rapture, his hands in a symbolical gesture, wearing a monastic robe with an incised hem. The double-lotus base is decorated with two snow lions.

16th century, Tibet, Tsong Khapa, dark metal with copper inlay, at the Rubin Museum of Art (USA).

16th century, Tibet, Tsong Khapa, dark metal with copper inlay, at the Rubin Museum of Art (USA).

This is a similar representation but with a different mudra or hand-gesture, the smiling face and the arms are painted with cold gold, the lips and eyes are painted with pigment, there are traces of blue and green pigment on the lotuses and two small gemstones. The hem of the garment is delicately incised with a floral pattern. The double-lotus base is decorated with snow lions.

 

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