Tibet, Tsang Nyon Heruka (5)

15th-16th century, Central Tibet, Tsang Nyon Heruka, copper alloy and pigment, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

15th-16th century, Central Tibet, Tsang province atelier, Tsang Nyon Heruka, copper alloy and pigment, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

This masterpiece depicts the ‘Mad man of Tsang’ with his usual mahasiddha appearance, seated in the vajra position on a tiger skin over a double-lotus base, with a skull cup in his left hand and a vajra in the right hand (in tarjani mudra). He is adorned with silver jewellery, including large spiral-shaped earrings, a necklace and a Chinese-style cross-belt.

Tsang Nyon Heruka, Central Tibet, Tsang, 15th-16th c., c.a.+pig., close up

He has silver-inlaid eyes, eyebrows, moustache and beard. His hair is dyed with lapis lazuli powder and fastened with a headband painted with red pigment. (The colours may have been added at a later date).

16th century, Tibet, Tsang Nyon Heruka, brass, private collection, photo by Christie's.

16th century, Tibet, Tsang Nyon Heruka, brass, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Here,  he is seated with his feet in a slightly different position, holding the same attributes and wearing a richly incised robe.

15th-16th century, Eastern Tibet, Tsang Nyon Heruka, copper alloy with paint, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (USA),

15th-16th century, Eastern Tibet, Tsang Nyon Heruka, copper alloy with paint, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (USA).

This more youthful portrait depicts the Tibetan teacher seated on a tiger skin over an unusual lotus base with both rows of petals going downwards. His legs are loosely folded. He is adorned with bone ornaments including a cross-belt with a large flower at the centre.

Undated, Tibet, Tsang Nyon Heruka, copper alloy with cold gold and pigments, private collection, published on Himalaya Art Resources.

Undated (16th century?), Tibet, Tsang Nyon Heruka, copper alloy with cold gold and pigments, private collection, published on Himalaya Art Resources.

On this remarkable sculpture, he is seated on an antelope skin over a single-lotus base, his raised knee held with a meditation belt, a vase of longevity in his left hand, an upright vajra in the other. He is adorned with jewellery, including a singular necklace inlaid with coral (the other stones are missing).

Tsang Nyon Heruka, undated, c.a.+cold g.+pig., face

Tsang Nyon Heruka, undated, c.a.+cold g.+pig., buddha head

His youthful and moon-like face has been painted with cold gold and pigments, his chignon dyed with lapis lazuli powder and topped with the head of a dyani buddha.

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