Nepal, standing buddhas

9th century circa, Nepal, Shakyamuni, copper or copper alloy with gilding and pigments, private collection, photo by Étude Loudmer.

9th century circa, Nepal, Shakyamuni, copper or copper alloy with gilding and pigments, private collection, photo by Étude Loudmer.

Shakyamuni holds one end of his outer garment and displays the varada mudra. His robe covers both shoulders and has rounded ends, it is shorter at the front and reveals the lower part of his dhoti. His hair forms a conical chignon topped with a gold finial.

9th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, bronze, at the British Museum (UK).

9th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, bronze, at the British Museum (UK).

This figure comes complete with its one-piece oval-shape flaming mandorla. It starts from the base and ends with a peak at the top.

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

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

This is quite a different style, that recalls very much earlier Indian bronze and stone works.

10th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, copper alloy with traces of pigment, from the Ford Collection.

10th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, copper alloy with traces of pigment, at the Walters Art Museum (USA).

We are back to the small oval face, conical chignon, thin waist and long arms (often seen on  buddhas from the earlier Licchavi period), with a more rigid robe, and a (broken) one-piece mandorla attached to the double-lotus base with alternate rows of incised petals.

10th--11th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, copper with pigment and traces of gilding. Is or was at the Potala, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

10th–11th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, copper with pigment and traces of gilding. Is or was at the Potala, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

The long legs and voluptuous hips of this buddha are often seen on sculptures from the late Thakuri period (also known as the Transitional period) but we have seen a 9th-10th century Maitreya with a very similar body shape. The waist line of his dhoti shows through his transparent robe, just below the navel. The left hand holds one end of his garment at hip level, the right hand does the abhaya mudra (fear-allaying).

Same as before.

Same as before.

Being worshipped in Lhasa, these two sculptures have their faces painted with cold gold and pigments and their hair dyed with lapis lazuli powder. They both have a rather big head with a broad forehead.

Same as before, was at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

11th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt copper with pigment, was at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

Later sculptures often portray Shakyamuni with a more flowing outer garment with concentric pleats. The above has a halo behind his head, attached to the one-piece flaming mandorla.

11th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, at the Musée du Quai Branly (France).

11th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, at the Musée du Quai Branly (France), published by Scala.

The outer garment can be more or less pleated, at the bottom or on the sides.

11th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, at the Beijing Museum.

11th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, copper alloy with cold gold on the face, at the Beijing Museum.

The end of  the garment he holds in his left hand is not usually as bulky as above.

12th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, at the Norton Simon Museum (USA).

12th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, at the Norton Simon Museum (USA).

This fire-gilt buddha has broad shoulders and a rigid robe and straight dhoti similar to the two figures from the Potala. There is a lotus flower incised in the palm of his right hand.

 

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