Phagpa Lokeshvara, variants (4)

18th century, China, Phagpa Lokeshvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Although this blog is about Himalayan art, and therefore doesn’t include objects made in China, sculptures of Phagpa Lokeshvara are so rare that it is always interesting to look at them and compare them with the oldest image known so far, held at the Potala. The above has Chinese facial features, rigid but slender legs, graceful arms and a thin waist. There is an effigy of himself on his crown. His striped dhoti, much shorter on one side, is decorated with a stippled floral motif and an incised hem.

His earrings are round rather than square, with the petals and stamens clearly visible.

Undated, China?, ivory, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

This curious ivory figure with Chinese facial features is adorned with jewellery and wears striped legging under his two-tier dhoti. Other odd features are the sash, which appears to be knotted around the left leg, and the unfinished feet.



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