Mongolia, Machig Labdron

17th-18th century, Mongolia, Machig Labdron, gilt copper alloy, Zanabazar school, private collection, photo by Rossi & Rossi

17th-18th century, Mongolia, Machig Labdron, gilt copper alloy, Zanabazar school, private collection, photo by Rossi & Rossi.

This Tibetan tantric practitioner and buddhist teacher (1055-1149) is normally depicted as a dakini holding a drum in her right hand and a vajra bell in the other, adorned with a five-leaf crown, jewellery and a beaded belt or bone apron. Here she is seated with her legs loosely folded. She wears a five-skull crown and holds a skull cup full of blodd in her left hand. The ribbons of her crown and the ends of her celestial scarf flowing upwards in a serpentine shape, together with the cross belt she wears, show a Chinese influence. Her broad facial features, the shape of the torso and the tall double-lotus base are proper to Mongolian works of the late 17th-18th century, as we have seen in previous posts.

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