Tibet, Vajradhara alone (8)

Same as before, photo by Nagel auctions.

17th century, Tibet, Vajradhara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Nagel auctions.

Seated and holding his attributes in the usual way, Vajradhara wears a loose-fitting dhoti that covers part of the lotus base on which he is seated, the extremities of his shawl flowing upwards in a serpentine shape after forming an angular loop at elbow level –  a feature typical of the 17th century onwards. The halo behind his head is borrowed from Nepalese art.

Same as before, stone inly, at Musée Guimet in Paris (France).

Same as before, stone inly, at Musée Guimet in Paris (France).

This Vajradhara wears a dhoti decorated with an incised floral and foliate motif, held in place with a beaded belt similar in style to his jewellery. He has a moonlike face with a large raised urna, and a large raised navelHis chignon is topped with a flaming jewel.

18th century, Tibet, labelled Vajrasattva, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie's.

18th century, Tibet, labelled Vajrasattva, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

The deity has an Indian-style conical chignon (jatamukata) topped with a floral finial, he is adorned with a low crown with floral panels, side bows and flowing ribbons and wears a long striped dhoti gathered tightly around his legs, the extremity folded under his ankles. The incised waist of the garment and the punched navel are also typical of earlier Indian works. The ‘Pala-revival’ style refers to a series of sculptures with similar characteristics produced around the 15th and then, on a larger scale, during the 18th century. Earlier ones normally have silver-inlaid eyes, they sit on a taller lotus base with heart-shaped petals, their hands tend to be oversized, like the example below.

15th century, labelled India, Vajradhara, brass, private collection, published by armandantiques.com.

 17th century, labelled Nepal, (but probably Tibet), Vajradhara, brass, private collection, photo by Arman Antiques.

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