Tibet, Manjushri on a lion (2)

13th century circa, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Koller.

We don’t often get a chance to see the simhanada form of Manjushri, the bodhisattva of wisdom. This Pala-style sculpture depicts him with his left foot on a lotus sprouting from the double-lotus base, his hands doing the dharmacakra mudra, seated on a lion stretching his neck out to look at him. The lotus to his left supports a book, the Prajnaparamita sutra, topped with pearls.

Undated, Tibet or Nepal, simhanada Manjushri, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

This one holds the stem of lotuses, one topped with the hilt of a sword, the other with a book supporting a flaming jewel, the style of the figure, lotus seat and turquoise inlay associated with late 15th or 16th century works from Tibet made in the Nepalese style. His sits on a sturdy lion with a short neck, adorned with beading.

18th century, Tibet, Manjushri, parcel gilt copper alloy with pigments, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

A more recent piece, with Chinese-style facial features, festoons and parcel-gilding, both lotuses supporting the flaming hilt of a sword.

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