Nepal, Late Malla Amitayus

16th century, Nepal, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Koller.

16th century, Nepal, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Koller.

This sculpture displays elements borrowed from the much earlier Transitional Period – such as the single-leaf hair adornment, the beaded necklace and pendant, the large floral earrings, the armbands with two rows of beading, the sash across the chest and the thin waist – but the accessories are more bulky, the facial features are different (an elongated face with a rounder nose), the toes are fleshier.

17th century circa, Nepal, Amitayus, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie's.

17th century circa, Nepal, Amitayus, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This is a similar example, with gilding only on the face and hair adornment.

16th century, Nepal, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay, at the British Museum (UK).

16th century, Nepal, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay, at the British Museum (UK).

If we compare this work with a similar 15th century Amitayus published in a previous post (from the Neuchatel museum), we will see that the jewellery is less discreet, the stone cabochons are larger, the armbands cover most of the forearm, the face is fuller and the toes are fleshier.

17th century, Nepal, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy and pigments, private collection, photo by Christie's.

17th century, Nepal, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy and pigments, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

The soft draping of the ample dhoti and the serpentine extremities of his celestial scarf show a Chinese influence, but the broad shoulders and chest of this figure are reminiscent of Mongolian works, although the waist is exaggeratedly thin. His facial features and hairstyle are quite singular. The style of the jewellery corresponds to 17th century Nepal.

17th-18th century, Nepal, Amitayus, gilt copper repoussé with stone inlay, same as before.

17th-18th century, Nepal, Amitayus, gilt copper repoussé with stone inlay, same as before.

On this refined sculpture with delicate Nepalese-style facial features, the shape of the celestial scarf and the ample draping of the dhoti depart from the early Malla style, whereas the design of the necklace is typical of the late Malla period. The top of his long-life vase is decorated with a triratna (three flaming jewels).

 

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