Tibet, 5th Dalai Lama

17th century, bronze, 5th Dalai Lama, Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

17th century, bronze, 5th Dalai Lama, photo by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Most Tibetan sculptures of Dalai Lamas depict Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso, the fifth Dalai Lama (1617-1682). Above, he holds a manuscript in his left hand.

17th century, Tibet, 5th Dalai Lama, copper alloy with cold gold and pigments, at the Rubin Museum of Art.

17th century, Tibet, 5th Dalai Lama, copper alloy with cold gold and pigments, at the Rubin Museum of Art.

Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso is seen here with a long-life vase in his left hand while the other hand is doing the teaching gesture or vitarka mudra. The broad hem of his garment is richly incised with foliage. He sits on square (or rectangular) cushions incised  with foliage, geometrical patterns and flowers.

Same, rear view.

Same, rear view.

A view of the back shows an inscription on the otherwise plain base. We will note the way the thick pleating of his ample garment has been rendered.

17th century, Tibet, 5th Dalai Lama, gilt copper alloy, photo by Christie's.

17th century, Tibet, 5th Dalai Lama, gilt copper or copper alloy, photo by Christie’s.

On this unusual example, his eyes are wide-open but not painted or inlaid with metal and yet expressive enough. His hands are in the same position as before but if he had an attribute in his left hand it is now lost.

17th-18th century, Tibet, 5th dalai Lama, painted wood, photo by Christie's

17th-18th century, Tibet, 5th dalai Lama, painted wood, photo by Christie’s.

This rare wooden sculpture depicts the fifth Dalai Lama with a begging bowl in his left hand and a red pointed hat on his head.

18th century, Tibet, 5th Dalai Lama, gilt metal, photo by Bonhams.

18th century, Tibet, 5th Dalai Lama, gilt copper alloy, photo by Bonhams.

Above, we see him with a manuscript in his left hand and the stem of a plant, possibly a lotus, in the other.

18th century, Tibet, 5th Dalai Lama, gilt copper alloy, photo by Bonhams.

18th century, Tibet, 5th Dalai Lama, gilt copper alloy, photo by Bonhams.

Sin título

This is another remarkable sculpture, with strikingly natural facial features.

Same as before, at the Jacques Marchais Museum, published on HImalayan Art Resources.

Same as before, at the Jacques Marchais Museum, published on HImalayan Art Resources.

As on the first picture, this one has a button at the front of his garment, a (relatively) modern feature on Tibetan sculptures, probably of Chinese origin.

 

 

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