Tibet, Akshobhya – bodhisattva appearance (2)

12th-13th century, Tibet, Akshobhya, copper alloy and pigments, private collection.

12th-13th century, Tibet, Akshobhya, copper alloy and pigments, is or was at the sNye Thang monastery (Nethang), published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

Akshobhya is dressed in bodhisattva attire and wears a tall five-leaf crown and an even larger leaf panel on top of his chignon. He is adorned with jewellery, a sacred cord and a celestial scarf that flies upwards on one side and is fastened to the body with rods. His face has been painted with cold gold and pigments, the hair with lapis lazuli powder.

15th century circa, Tibet, Akshobhya, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Koller.

15th century circa, Tibet, Akshobhya, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Koller.

Inspired from the Indian style, this sculpture depicts him with an exaggeratedly thin waist and long arms, a small crown with large rosettes and showy upwards flying bows, the v-shaped ends with a zig-zag design. His celestial scarf is set close to his shoulders and reaches only to his knees.

15th century, Tibet, Tsang District, Akshobhya, copper alloy, at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art.

15th century, Tibet, Tsang District, Akshobhya, copper alloy, at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art.

17th century, Tibet, Akshobhya, gilt copper with stone inlay, photo by Sotheby's.

17th century, Tibet, Akshobhya, gilt copper with stone inlay, photo by Sotheby’s.

This later work has a series of Chinese-style features such as the shape of the petals on the lotus base, the roundness and smoothness of the draping of his dhoti, the swirls of the celestial scarf, the snake-like crown ribbons flowing upwards, the design of the earrings and the shorter necklace, and the oblique semi-closed eyes. His jewellery is inlaid with turquoise and coral.

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