Nepal, Early Malla Vajravarahi

14th century, Nepal, Vajravarahi,

14th century, Nepal, Vajravarahi, bronze, at the Cleveland Museum of Art (USA).

This is a very rare sculpture of Vajravarahi, “The Diamond Sow”, with 4 arms and the head of a sow (with a third eye).  She is seated with one leg pendant, the foot resting over a lotus flower. There is a noose in her upper left hand, a skull cup in her lower right hand. The other right hand holds a non-identified object. She is adorned with jewellery inlaid with gems and wears a small tiara. Her ankle-length dhoti is held in place with a belt studded with gems.

14th century, Nepal, Vajravarahi, stucco and paint,

14th century, Nepal, Vajravarahi, fibre, stucco and paint over an iron frame, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

This more usual sculpture of Vajravarahi bears similarities with a better-preserved work made of clay over metal kept at the Walters Museum (published in a previous post). The sow’s head sticking out of her own is partly broken but her third eye and her colour are enough to identify her as the red yogini, an aspect of Vajrayogini, who embodies complete buddhahood in the female form. She stands in a dancing posture, holding a skull cup (now missing) in her left hand and a flaying knife or a sword in the other.

 

 

 

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