Tibet, Akshobhya – bodhisattva appearance (3)

13th century, Western Tibet, Akshobhya, bronze with copper and silver inlay, cold gold, private collection.

13th century, Western Tibet, Akshobhya, bronze with copper and silver inlay, cold gold, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This Pala-style work depicts Akshobhya, his hands in the same position as  Shakyamuni on most sculptures, adorned with princely attire and wearing a long dhoti gathered in a fan shape under his ankles.

13th-c-western-tibet-akshobhya-c-a-cop-sil-inlaycold-g-36-cm-beaded-hems-beaded-jewellery-with-cop-stone-inlay-close-up

The rim of his crown and of his armbands, his longer necklace, his bracelets and his lips are inlaid with copper, his eyes and the small raised urna on his forehead with silver. The face has been painted with cold gold and the hair dyed with lapis lazuli powder.

13th-c-western-tibet-akshobhya-c-a-cop-sil-inlaycold-g-36-cm-pala-inspired-beaded-hems-beaded-jewellery-with-cop-stone-inlay-fleshy-toes-long-fingers-broad-shoulders-detail

There is a turquoise cabochon on the front panel of his crown, rosettes, foliate pendant and matching armbands, and some fine beading on the edge of his jewellery and lower garment. He may have held a vajra sceptre in his left hand.

13th-14th century, Tibet, same as before, photo by Koller.

13th-14th century, (Western?) Tibet, same as before, photo by Koller.

The lotuses on each side were particularly fashionable in (Western) Tibet during the 13th and 14th century and were often secured to the arms with rods. The above has coral-inlaid armbands with a floral bud design that matches the pendant on the necklaces. His dhoti is decorated with a broad copper-inlaid hem. Compared with the harmonious proportions of the previous one, his chest and legs are under-developed, and his nipples are strangely positioned sideways.

 

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