Tibet, various mahasiddhas (1)

Mahasiddha, Possibly Campaka, the Flower King, early 14th century Tibet, brass, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (USA).

Mahasiddha, Possibly Campaka,  early 14th century
Tibet, brass, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (USA).

This masterpiece depicts a Mahasiddha, possibly Campaka, the ‘flower king’, seated on a throne supported by two Gilgit-style lions with frizzy manes, his legs loosely gathered over his long lower garment, his hands holding lotus buds. The waist line of his garment forms a peak at the front which matches the ripple on his chest, his navel is a hole punched in the abdomen.

Mahasiddha, Tibet, 14th c. early, pos. Campaka, c.a., 17,8 cm, close up

The mahasiddha wears earplugs, his thick matted hair is combed backwards, he has strong, well defined facial features, a small moustache with curly ends and a full beard, which is bushier below the jawline, wide-open eyes and frowning eyebrows with a singular geometrical design where they meet.

14th-15th century, Tibet, Mahasiddha, possibly Goraksa, private collection.

14th-15th century, Tibet, Mahasiddha, possibly Goraksa, private collection.

This mahasiddha is seated on a cushion with rounded corners, his legs in the vajra position and both hands in the meditation gesture. His hair is tied in a chignon except for a few loose strands and adorned with a skull crown. He wears bone ornaments, a Chinese-style cross-belt and a sash or scarf incised with a geometrical motif. The animal and human limbs at the front of the cushion could be related to Goraksa, who is said to have given assistance to a wounded man who had lost his limbs.

17th century, Central Tibet, copper alloy, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

17th century, Central Tibet, Tsang province atelier, Mahasiddha Shavaripa, copper alloy, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Before becoming a Buddhist adept, Shavaripa was a hunter. He is seated with a leg folded and the other raised, his knee held by a meditation belt, a bow over his left shoulder, his hands doing the dharmacakra mudra.

Mahasiddha Shavaripa, 17th c., Central Tibet, Tsang, c.a., close up

He is adorned with a floral tiara, some jewellery including large hoops, a Chinese-style cross-belt with dangling beads (possibly acorns), his loin cloth is tied around his waist. There are traces of cold gold on his face.

Mahasiddha Shavaripa, 17th c., Central Tibet, Tsang, c.a., back

 

 

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