Tibet, various mahasiddhas (4)

 

18th century, Tibet, mahasiddha, gilt copper alloy and pigments, private collection, photo by Nagel.

18th century, Tibet, mahasiddha, gilt copper alloy and pigments, private collection, photo by Nagel.

This realistic portrait of a mahasiddha, with a vajra in his right hand and a skull cup filled with blood on the other side, is a mixture of classical elements (especially the body shape and proportions) and modern elements such as the earrings (big hoops with a large almond-shaped pendant) armbands and anklets, the way the hair is plaited and forms a tiered conical shape, the way his moustache,  goatee and beard are sculpted. His loin cloth is fastened with a large ribbon knotted at the front and he wears a thin meditation belt around the shoulder (rather than around the waist).

18th century, Tibet, Mahasiddha, black stone and paint, private collection.

18th century, Tibet, Mahasiddha, black stone and paint, at the Rubin Museum of Art (USA).

This is a good imitation of 15th-16th century metal sculptures of mahasiddhas seated in a yogic position, adorned with spiral-shaped earrings, bone ornaments and cross-belt, wearing nothing but a short loin cloth, the chignon fastened with a head band. This one holds a (missing) object in his left hand and does the bhumisparsha mudra with the other.

18th century or earlier, Tibet, Mahasiddha, Nagel

18th century or earlier, Tibet, Mahasiddha, polychrome copper alloy, Nagel

This curious figure with a doll-like body is adorned with attributes proper to wrathful deities (a snake worn as a sacred cord, snake armbands, bracelets and anklets, a mongoose and a citrus fruit normally associated with Jambhala).

Mahasiddha, Tibet, 18th c. or earlier, c.a.+paint, fruit+mongoose, snake cord, 5-leaf+skull tiara, close up

He has a conical chignon and a five-leaf crown adorned with skulls,  there is a raised urna on his forehead. The treatment of the eyebrows and moustache recalls Chinese sculptures of Virupa published in a previous post.

 

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