Tibet, Marpa Chokyi Lodro

Early 12th century, Tibet, Marpa,

17th century, Tibet, Marpa, bronze with copper, silver and gold inlay, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (USA).

Marpa Chokyi Lodrö (1012-1097), also known as Marpa Lotsawa, “the translator”, is seated in the lotus position, his hands on his knees, wrapped in a long sleeve robe held in place with a sash and topped with a meditation cloak. His droopy eyes are inlaid with silver, his earplugs with gold, the piping on his clothes with copper. We will notice the delicate hands, the realistic facial features, the way the pleats of the sleeves and waist have been given volume to make the fabric look thick, unlike the luxurious gown on the next picture.

11th century, Tibet, gilt metal with cold gold and pigments, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

17th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy with cold gold and pigments, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

This work depicts him with a square and sad face, seated  on a finely decorated cushion, wrapped in a soft, tight-fitting garment richly incised on the upper part, his hands resting on his knees, one leg unfolded. The meditation cloak is held far back.

Same as before.

Same as before.

This is a very similar portrait but with his eyes cast down (and plain garments and cushion). On both sculptures the foot that is showing is bare (and his legs look too short).

13th century, same as before.

13th century, same as before.

This more impersonal portrait of Marpa  depicts him with the same type of ‘kimono-like’ garment with ample sleeves, seated on a throne in the lotus position, his feet covered by a generous amount of fabric.

14th century circa, Tibet, Marpa, copper alloy, private collection.

14th century circa, Tibet, Marpa, copper alloy, private collection.

Still with a sad gaze, Marpa holds a thunderbolt in his right hand and a bell in the other. The hem of his garment is decorated with thick beading. He has one leg unfolded, the tip of a boot showing from under the robe. On all these sculptures, Marpa has very thick, short hair.

 

15th-16th century, Tibet, Marpa, gilt copper alloy, at the Newark Museum of Art.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Marpa, gilt copper alloy with pigment, at the Newark Museum of Art.

On other works, which depict him with harmonious proportions and in a rather idealised way (much younger, with an oval face, smiling) his hair is long and combed back.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Marpa, copper alloy with pigment, photo by Koller.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Marpa, copper alloy with pigment, photo by Koller.

 

 

 

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