Tibet, Vaishravana (1)

Among Tibetan sculptures of  lokapalas, Vaishravana is by far the most commonly represented one. 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 lokapalas 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.

16th century, Tibet, Vaishravana, bronze with stone inlay, at the Pacific Asia Museum.

16th century, Tibet, Vaishravana, bronze with stone inlay, at the Pacific Asia Museum.

Here, Vaishravana sits on a lion throne, his left foot resting on a lotus flower stemming from the base. His jewellery and crown, the finial on his head, the handle of his folded parasol, the side of the throne and the jewels which the mongoose is spewing are inlaid with turquoise, lapis lazuli and coral cabochons. The hem of his garment is inlaid with copper.

 

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