Tibet, Vajrasattva with large bows

13th century, Tibet, supreme buddha Vajrasattva, brass with copper inlay, at the Walters Art Museum (USA).

13th century, Tibet, Vajrasattva, brass with copper inlay, at the Walters Art Museum (USA).

This statue represents Vajrasattva holding the stem of a (now broken) lotus in his left hand and making a symbolic gesture with his right hand, his vajra and bell missing, the lotus supported by his right elbow also missing. His tunic with tassels is slightly reminiscent of  much earlier Kashmiri works. The hem of his dhoti and the rim of his crown are inlaid with copper. He has a large head and broad squarish face in the Tibetan fashion but a small mouth, small silver-inlaid eyes and pointed nose in the Kashmiri fashion. His tear-shape urna and eyelids have a thick contour, his eyebrows, which go from side to side, form an angle instead of the standard soft arch. These original geometrical features are enhanced by a tall five-leaf crown adorned with rosettes and some very large bows which are unusually placed way below the rosettes. He wears floral jewellery, including some anklets with a floral design displayed across the sole of his feet.

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