Tibet, Wrathful Vajrapani

The wrathful form of bodhisattva Vajrapani is most commonly represented with one head with three eyes, bared fangs, flaming hair and an orange moustache, 2 hands, in which he holds a thunderbolt and a lasso. Normally standing, his right leg bent, his left foot treading on a corpse, he wears a tiger skin loin cloth and is adorned with snakes, large hoops, sometimes a skull crown and a garland of severed heads.

11th century circa, Tibet, Vajrapani Krodha, copper alloy, cold gold, pigments, photo by Christie's.

11th century circa, Tibet, Vajrapani, copper alloy, cold gold, pigments, photo by Christie’s.

He may hold the thunderbolt horizontally at head level.

11th century, Tibet, Vajrapani, bronze and pigment, photo by Christie's.

11th century, Tibet, Vajrapani, bronze, cold gold and pigment, photo by Christie’s.

or vertically, at heart level.

12th-13th century, Tibet, Vajrapani, brass, photo by Rossi & Rossi.

12th-13th century, Tibet, Vajrapani, brass, photo by Rossi & Rossi.

he sometimes has his tongue out.

12th-13th century, Tibet, Vajrapani, copper alloy, photo by Sotheby's.

12th-13th century, Tibet, Vajrapani, copper alloy, photo by Sotheby’s.

He may be standing on snakes. The above figure has a crescent moon on his chignon, topped with a jewel instead of a sun disc.

13th century, Tibet, Vajrapani, brass, cold gold and pigment, glass inlay, photo by Koller auctions.

13th century, Tibet, Vajrapani, brass, cold gold and pigment, glass inlay, photo by Koller auctions.

He may wear a leopard skin rather than a tiger skin as a loin cloth.

 

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