Mongolia, three dhyani buddhas

17th century, Mongolia, Vairochana, gilt copper alloy and pigment, by Zanabazar, at the Zanabazar Museum (Mongolia) published on Himalayan Art Resources

17th century, Mongolia, Vairocana, gilt copper alloy and pigment, by Zanabazar, at the Zanabazar Museum (Mongolia) published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Vairocana/Vairochana is seated in the vajra position, his hands doing the dharmacakra mudra or ‘turning the wheel of dharma’ gesture.

Same as before, Askhobhya.

Same as before, Askhobhya.

Akshobhya does the dhyana mudra with his left hand (from which an alms bowl is probably missing) and the bhumisparsha mudra or ‘calling Earth to witness’ gesture with the other. This iconography also corresponds to some Shakyamuni sculptures but there is no doubt that this is Akshobhya because, along with the above Vairocana, this sculpture is part of a set of dhyani buddhas made by Zanabazar (the others have been published in previous posts).

Undated (probably 17th century), Mongolia, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy and pigment, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Undated (probably 18th century circa), Mongolia, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy and pigment, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Amitayus holds a long-life vase (or vase of longevity) in his hands. The style of the sculpture corresponds to the Zanabazar school. There was probably a flaming jewel (now broken) on top of his head. He is adorned with the standard five-leaf crown, large earrings and fine jewellery. The ends of a thin celestial scarf are resting over the sides of the double-lotus base.

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