Tibet, Kunga Gyaltsen

15th century, Central Tibet, Kunga Gyaltsen, bronze, private collection on Himalayan Art Resources.

15th century, Central Tibet, Kunga Gyaltsen, bronze, at the Museum der Kulturen in Basel (Switzerland).

This is a deified portrait of Kunga Gyaltsen, otherwise known as Sakya Pandita (1147-1216). The famous Tibetan scholar and spiritual leader wears a tight-fitting garment with incised hems. The lotuses on each side of him support a book (to his left) and a sword (to his right). On this rare sculpture, his hair is gathered into a chignon that forms an ushnisha and there is an urna on his forehead, two of the buddha’s marks.

Same, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

Same, gilt copper, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

Sometimes he is portrayed  without lotuses or attributes.

16th century, Tibet, Kunga Gyaltsen, gilt metal and pigment, at the Rubin Museum of Art.

16th century, Tibet, Kunga Gyaltsen, gilt metal and pigment, at the Rubin Museum of Art.

His hat is often painted red.

 

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