Tibet, Vaishravana

Among Tibetan sculptures of guardian kings (often called lokapalas although this is a Hindu term), Vaishravana is by far the most commonly represented. He is the guardian of the North, leader of the Yakshas, and a wealth deity. Standing or sitting, usually on a prostrated lion, he is dressed in armour and thick boots and holds an umbrella (often missing) or a banner of victory in his right hand,  a mongoose spewing jewels in the other.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Vaishravana, bronze, at the Pacific Asia Museum.

15th century circa, Tibet, Vaishravana, bronze, at the Pacific Asia Museum.

On this sculpture, he has a Kirtimukha figure over his belly.

15th century, Tibet, Vaishravana, at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

15th century, Tibet, Vaishravana, gilt copper, at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

One of a set of four such guardians at the gTsug Lakhang. His face has been painted with cold gold and pigments and his hair is coated with lapis lazuli powder. His breast plates are shaped like lotus flowers similar to the one on his hat.

16th century, Tibet, Vaishravana, on cambiaste.com.

16th century, Tibet, Vaishravana, gilt metal, published on cambiaste.com.

Although both attributes are missing, there is no doubt that this is Vaishravana, sitting on a lion, his left hand clasped to hold a mongoose. His earrings and his belt are decorated with a lotus design.

 

 

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