Nepal, two statues from the transitional period

10th century, Nepal, Vak (a buddha emanation)

10th century, Nepal, Vak (a buddha emanation)

What make these two statues interesting is that they have a flaming halo and a flaming mandorla. Either types are common among Thakuri period sculptures but they are not normally represented together (or the mandorla is often missing).

The first one depicts Vak, an emanation of buddha Amitabha, with his hair gathered on top of his head in a fan shape, a few strands loose on his shoulders, his hands cupped to hold a begging bowl now missing. The hairstyle and large forehead are slightly reminiscent of some Sri Lankan works.

10th-11th century, Nepal, buddha Shakyamuni, copper, private collection.

10th-11th century, Nepal, buddha Shakyamuni, copper, private collection.

The second one represents the historical buddha, with a hand calling the Earth to witness, sitting on a pedestal decorated with a thunderbolt or vajra. This symbol and the hand position also correspond to buddha Akshobhya, for this reason it is difficult to distinguish the two when dealing with sculptures, as we have seen in a previous post.

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