Nepal, Malla period Vajrasattva

15th-16th century, Nepal, Vajrasattva, gilt copper, Circle of Bliss exhibition at the LACMA (USA).

15th-16th century, Nepal, Vajrasattva, gilt copper, Circle of Bliss exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (USA).

Vajrasattva holds a bell in his left hand against his hip and an upright (missing) thunderbolt in the palm of his right hand. He wears a crown with the effigy of a buddha at the front and large bows on the sides, discreet jewellery and a sacred thread. There is a tall rectangular urna on his forehead. The sobriety of the sculpture and the graceful body proportions reflect the style of the early Malla period.

16th century, Nepal, Vajrasattva, gilt copper alloy and turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Christie's.

16th century, Nepal, Vajrasattva, gilt copper alloy and turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This one, from the late Malla period, has a shorter neck, sturdier limbs and bulkier jewellery, with  larger stone cabochons, and a long dhoti incised with a floral pattern. There is a large flower at the centre of his crown and sprouting vegetation on each side, a remnant from the Kirtimukha design popular during the early Malla period.

 

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