Tibet, Akshobhya – bodhisattva appearance

Like the other 4 dyani buddhas, Akshobhya may have a bodhisattva appearance (i.e. with an Indian-style chignon, jewellery and a sash or a scarf).

13th century, Tibet, Akshobhya, brass with silver inlay, photo by Carlton Rochell.

13th century, Tibet, Akshobhya, brass with silver inlay and pigment, photo by Carlton Rochell.

Although the hands are in the same position and there is no distinctive attribute to identify him, the above figure cannot be mistaken for the historical buddha given that the latter is never represented as a bodhisattva.

13th century, Tibet, Akshobhya, bronze, at the Rubin Museum of Art (USA).

13th century, Tibet, Akshobhya, bronze, at the Rubin Museum of Art (USA).

14th century, Tibet, Akshobhya, private collection.

14th century, Tibet, Akshobhya, private collection.

In many cases, when he sits on a double-lotus base there is no vajra on it.

14th century, Tibet, Akshobhya, brass, photo by Christie's.

14th century, Tibet, Akshobhya, brass, photo by Christie’s.

Sometimes he holds a vajra upright in his left hand

14th century, Western Tibet, Akshobhya, copper alloy, photo by Sotheby's.

14th century, Western Tibet, Akshobhya, copper alloy, photo by Koller.

or horizontally in his right hand.

15th century, Tibet, Akshobhya, gilt copper alloy inlaid with stones and coral, photo by Sotheby's.

15th century, Tibet, Akshobhya, gilt copper alloy inlaid with silver, stones and coral, photo by Sotheby’s.

This Newar-style sculpture shows him with a small vajra in front of him inlaid with stones to match his jewellery and the rim of the base.

 

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2 thoughts on “Tibet, Akshobhya – bodhisattva appearance

  1. Lovely… the top one has such a wonderful face, I can imagine meeting him! The second from bottom is obviously meditating on some happy thing. Wonderful!

  2. Aren’t they both so different and yet so endearing! With the top one the artist followed the standards of the time and produced a cold sort of beauty, so perfect and almost static, which produces a sense of ‘the divine’ while the other seems to be recalling a private joke and looks so human and accessible that he transmits warmth and humanity. Although perhaps every viewer experiences a different sensation!

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