Himachal Pradesh, 2 standing figures

11th-12th century, Chamba, former kingdom of Western Tibet, Tara, brass, at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford (UK).

11th-12th century, Chamba, former kingdom of Western Tibet, Tara, brass, at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford (UK).

Tara stands on a single-lotus base with flat, elongated heart-shaped petals typical of the area, over a  throne supported by two lions and a yaksha, surrounded with a mandorla with serrated flames, topped with a stupa, a moon crescent, a sun disc and flowing ribbons. She wears a tight-fitted bodice and long dhoti incised with stripes. Her Indian-style voluptuous body and fleshy face are very similar to those of another Tara sculpture at the Ashmolean Museum labelled as ‘9th century, Chamba’ (published in a previous post). She is adorned with a long garland of flowers typical of ancient West Tibetan sculptures (including  Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh), a low crown, and simple jewellery. In her right hand, she holds a rosary and does the fear-allaying gesture. The long stem of a lotus flower rising from the base passes through the other hand. Her large almond-shaped eyes are inlaid with silver.

13th century, Himachal Pradesh, Shakyamuni, brass, photo by Koller.

13th century, Himachal Pradesh, Shakyamuni, copper alloy, photo by Koller.

On this later work, which has quite different body proportions, we can appreciate similar characteristics with the lotus base, the dhoti and the flaming mandorla (which is topped with a parasol and flowing ribbons).

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