Tibet, Black Manjushri

16th century, Tibet, Black Manjushri, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie's.

16th century, Tibet, Black Manjushri, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

There are very few Tibetan sculptures of this wrathful aspect of Manjushri, identified through the manuscript he holds in his left hand together with the sword held above his head. This example is adorned with a five-skull tiara, a garland of 50 severed heads, jewellery, a Chinese-style cross belt. He wears a tiger skin dhoti knotted at the front. His face has three eyes and bared fangs. His flaming hair is tied into a bunch.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Black Manjushri, copper alloy, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (USA).

17th-18th century, Tibet, Black Manjushri, copper alloy, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (USA).

This more recent work depicts him half kneeling, wearing a bone apron and a billowing scarf that forms a kind of halo behind his head, adorned with large round floral earrings and five-leaf crown, his chignon topped with a half vajra.

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