Tibet, Vajravarahi (7)

14th century, Tibet, Vajravarahi, bronze, published by Rossi & Rossi.

14th century, Tibet, Vajravarahi, bronze, published by Rossi & Rossi.

Vajravarahi, a form of buddha Vajrayogini and consort of Chakrasamvara, has the head of a sow coming out of her right temple (or sometimes in her headdress). She stands in the dakinis’ dancing posture’, holding a vajra-handled flaying knife (the blade missing here) in her right hand and a skull cup in the other. The above is adorned with a necklace of stylized severed heads, a small tiara and jewellery, a bone apron and a very thin celestial scarf.

Same as before, copper alloy, private collection on Himalayan Art Resources.

14th century, Tibet, Vajravarahi, copper alloy, private collection on Himalayan Art Resources.

She may have a ritual staff propped against her left arm. On this archaic sculpture, her right knee is resting on the leg of a victim. She wears a five-skull crown and her low chignon is topped with a large jewel.

Same as before, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay.

Same as before, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay, same as before.

On numerous occasions the garland of 50 freshly severed heads reaches her ankles. This Densatil-style figure stands on her right leg and wears a bone apron with long tassels which are in fact raining jewels.

Same as before, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie's.

Same as before, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This Pala-style version shows her standing on two victims, her right hand down, against her leg, wearing a cross belt and a knee-length garland of severed heads.

14th c., Tibet, Vajrayogini, c.a., 13,5 cm, raining jewels

Her elaborate bone apron is complemented by a loose sash with raining jewels at each end.

16th century, Tibet, bronze, Vajravarahi, at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London (UK).

16th century, Tibet, bronze, Vajravarahi, at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London (UK).

The head of the sow sticking out of her own is often schematic and barely visible. We can guess it here above the flowing ribbon of her skull crown. She has flaming hair dyed with red pigment and fastened into a scallop shape.

16th century, Central Tibet, Densatil monastery, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Christie's.

16th century, Central Tibet, Densatil monastery, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Many sculptures of Vajravarahi made in Central Tibet from the 14th century onwards depict her with a flowing celestial scarf that forms multiple loops and an arch behind her head. This one wears a garland made of skulls (rather than fresh heads).

17th century, Central Tibet, Vajravarahi, gilt copper alloy, private collection.

17th century, Central Tibet, Vajravarahi, gilt copper alloy, private collection.

 

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