Tibet, peaceful Vajrapani – seated

13th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang, published by Ulrich Von Schroeder

13th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang, published by Ulrich Von Schroeder.

15th century, Tibet, Vajrapani, copper alloy with cold gold and pigment, at the Rubin Museum of Art (USA).

13th century, Central Tibet, Vajrapani, copper alloy with cold gold and pigment, at the Rubin Museum of Art (USA).

13th c., Tibet, Vajrapani, brass and blue pigment in hair, private collection

13th c., Tibet, Vajrapani, brass and blue pigment in hair, private collection.

When seated, the bodhisattva may hold the vajra upright or horizontally, his other hand may be doing the vitarka mudra and/or hold the stem of a lotus with a bell on top. In this last case, the iconography is the same as for buddha Vajrasattva and, as Jeff Watts explains on Himalayan Art Resources,  there is no way of distinguishing them unless there is an inscription at the back of the sculpture.

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