Tibet, Shakyamuni – seated (2)

Central Tibet, 11th century, Shakyamuni, copper alloy with traces of cold gold and pigment, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Central Tibet, 11th century, Shakyamuni, copper alloy with traces of cold gold and pigment, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

This dark Indian-style copper alloy sculpture depicts Shakyamuni seated in the lotus position, his right hand calling Earth to witness, the left hand in the meditation mudra – the slightly closed fingers indicate that there may have been a bowl, now lost, in his hand. He has sharp facial features, a plain see-through upper garment that leaves his right arm and part of his chest bare, one end pleated over his left shoulder in an almost straight line, and a plain lower garment with the end pleated under his ankles. He has a small round urna on his forehead, a tall conical ushnisha topped with two locks of hair, three folds at the neck and elongated pierced earlobes, all characteristics of the historical buddha.

11th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, copper alloy, private collection.

11th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, copper alloy, private collection.

The lotus base on which this buddha is resting may be more recent (12th century) than the sculpture itself. He has a broad face with pointed features, eyes cast down. The end of the upper garment over his shoulder is shaped like a V, the tail of his lower garment forms a scallop shape under his ankles. The ushnisha is topped with a lotus bud.

 

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