Tibet, Shakyamuni – unusual works

 

11th-12th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, brass, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

11th-12th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, brass, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

Shakyamuni is seated on a lotus in the niche of a stupa (broken at the top) decorated with birds and incised vegetation on each side.

12th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, brass, is or was in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

12th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, brass, is or was in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

The above is seated on an embroidered cushion over a tall single-lotus pedestal. The hem of his robe is incised with scrolled vegetation. A small piece of the garment covers his right shoulder.

12th-c-tibet-shakyamuni-brass-3230-cm-base-gtsug-lakhang

The lower part of the base is incised with scrolled vegetation on each side of a vajra sceptre. There is a small lozenge (diamond) with two circles at the centre of the plain area below the beaded rim.

13th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, brass with copper, silver and turquoise inlay, is or was at the Jokhang, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

13th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, brass with copper, silver and turquoise inlay, is or was at the Jokhang, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

This Indian-style sculpture depicts him with a ritual water pot in his right hand. This attribute is normally held by Maitreya but the embossed wheels on the palm of his left hand and the soles of his feet indicate that this is the historical buddha. The incised hem of  the upper part of his sanghati is inlaid with copper and silver. He has silver-inlaid eyes and urna, copper-inlaid lips, a turquoise-inlaid lotus bud finial and traces of lapis lazuli powder in his hair.

12th-13th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, brass, is or was at Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

12th-13th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, brass, is or was at Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

Here, Shakyamuni’s chignon is topped with the flame of enlightenment.  There is a similar Indian-style image at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (published in a previous post).

14th-15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, copper with gilding, turquoise inlay and pigment, private collection, photo by Sotheby's.

14th-15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, copper with gilding, turquoise inlay and pigment, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

This masterpiece has the buddha wearing a turquoise-inlaid necklace, with a matching urna and finial. He sits on a low and broad double-lotus base, a vajra sceptre before him. The broad hem of his sanghati is decorated with an incised motif between two rows of fine beading.

15th century circa, Tibet, Shakyamuni, silver, private collection, photo by Christie's.

15th century circa, Tibet, Shakyamuni, silver, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

What makes this otherwise standard image of Shakyamuni unusual is the use of silver.

16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy with turquoise inlay, at the Art Institute of Chicago (USA).

16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy with turquoise inlay, at the Art Institute of Chicago (USA).

This set depicts the historical buddha triumphing over Maravijaya, who embodies the forces of evil. He is seated on a legged throne, surrounded with flames, his hands in the classical position, his inner garment pleated and tightly gathered below the breast, adorned with an armband (unusual for a buddha with buddha appearance). Below him the multi-armed demon with flaming hair clings to the throne with his lower hands. He holds a ritual staff and another implement in his upper hands and stretches his mouth open with his middle hands.

 

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