Nepal, seated buddhas (2)

11th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, published by Boran Asian Art.

11th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, published by Boran Asian Art.

This powerful image depicts Shakyamuni wearing a robe with an incised hem, the lower part forming thing pleats under his ankles, one extremity pleated into an elegant scallop shape that rests on his left shoulder. He has a squarish face with a straight nose and a small mouth, broad limbs and well separated toes. His hair is dyed with lapis lazuli powder and topped with a lotus bud finial. There is no urna on his forehead.

11th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt copper, is or was at the Potala, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

11th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt copper, is or was at the Potala, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

Shakyamuni is seated on a lion-throne over a plinth with two deer at the front, covered with a cloth decorated with a wheel of dharma. The ornate back panel has cut out scrolls and mythical creatures on it (viyalas, apsaras, makaras and a garuda at the top with a snake in its beak). A flaming halo is attached to the buddha’s neck (rather than lower down). His robe covers both shoulders and forms thin concentric pleats over his chest. His face has been painted with cold gold and pigments, the hair dyed with lapis lazuli powder, according to the Lhasa tradition.

12th century, Nepal, copper alloy, Shakyamuni, at the British Museum (UK).

12th century, Nepal, copper alloy, Shakyamuni, at the British Museum (UK).

This is a more traditional throne, supported by a yaksha, two elephants and two snow lions. The buddha is seated on a double-lotus base with small oval petals, no sepals, stamens or beading. The flaming mandorla attached to his back is topped with a stupa.

12th century circa, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt copper with turquoise inlay, same as before.

12th century circa, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt copper with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

This is another powerful image, with broad limbs and a squarish face, with a large tear-shaped urna. The hem of his robe is decorated with an incised motif and one end forms a straight line of thick pleats over his left shoulder. The artist has made two highly original incisions to mark the waist line of his dhoti. The rosettes above his ears tell us that the sculpture was made during the 12th or 13th century, at the latest.

 

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