Tibet, Virupa (4)

15th century, Tibet, Mahasiddha Virupa, copper alloy with cold gold and pigments, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

15th century, Tibet, Mahasiddha Virupa, copper alloy with cold gold and pigments, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

Virupa is seated on a deer or antelope skin, a leg raised and held with a meditation belt incised with a floral motif, one hand holding a (missing) skull cup, the other raised ‘to stop the sun in its course’.

Mahasiddha Virupa, 15th c., Central? Tibet, gilt cop., 27,7 cm, detail, Jokhang o gTsug

His face is painted with cold gold, his curly moustache, tongue and beard with red pigment, his wide-open eyes and his teeth with black paint, his hair with lapis lazuli powder. He is adorned with a small floral tiara, a cross-belt,  garland of flowers and jewellery inlaid with stones (only some turquoise remains).

Mahasiddha Virupa, 15th c., Central? Tibet, gilt cop., 27,7 cm, back

The back of this masterpiece is just as richly decorated as the front. He wears a short dhoti incised with flowers. His hair curls are individually sculpted as for the head of a buddha.

15th-16th century, Central Tibet, Tsang region, Mahasiddha Virupa, copper alloy and pigments, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

15th-16th century, Central Tibet, Tsang province atelier, Mahasiddha Virupa, copper alloy and pigments, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

This masterpiece from Central Tibet depicts him seated on an antelope skin over a single-lotus base, doing the karana mudra (lion gesture) with his right hand (instead of pointing towards the Sun with an index), wearing a short dhoti and a meditation belt with an incised floral motif.

Mahasiddha Virupa, 15th-16th c., Central Tibet, Tsang province atelier, c.a.+pig., close up

He has a traditional Indian-style chignon painted with lapis lazuli powder, adorned with flowers and topped with a lotus bud finial. His eyes and moustache are inlaid with silver.

16th century, Central tibet, Mahasiddha Virupa, copper alloy with cold gold and pigments, photo by Rossi & Rossi.

16th century, Central tibet, Mahasiddha Virupa, copper alloy with cold gold and pigments, photo by Rossi & Rossi.

On this strikingly similar work, he is seated on a double-lotus base. His meditation belt is incised with a different pattern. The face is painted with cold gold (and the hair with lapis lazuli powder). Although the dating differs slightly these two pieces may have been made at the same time, and even in the same atelier of the Tsang province.

 

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