Western Tibet, Manjushri with sword (2)

Undated (11th-12th century?), Western Tibet, Ngari, Manjushri, copper alloy, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Standing on a particularly elegant lotus pedestal, Manjushri brandishes a sword with a flaming tip and holds the stem of a blue lotus topped with a manuscript and inlaid with a triangular piece of lapis lazuli, a most unusual feature, especially as the Ngari style does not normally include stone or coral inlay.

His necklace and belt also includes lapis lazuli and his face is painted with cold gold. He wears a small crown with three triangular panels and ribbons.

He wears a long striped dhoti decorated with a stippled motif and held in place with a belt whose pendant ribbon seems to have been blown by the wind and casually rests across his left thigh.

Undated (12th century circa?), Western Tibet, Manjushri, same as before.

In imitation of the Indian Pala style, the artist has given this Manjushri an exaggeratedly tall chignon (incised rather than sculpted), low tiara, large side bows, and a festooned belt to hold his dhoti, whose folds stick out at knee level like rigid leaves.

Even the stem of the lotus and the blade of his sword are incised with a geometrical pattern.

Same as before.

Very few of these early works have reached us with their flaming halo. The flames on this one are irregular and lively.

His blue lotus is topped with pearls or gems.

12th-13th century, Tibet, Manjushri, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Koller.

Another Pala-style figure, with life-like torso and arms, a thin celestial scarf and a short dhoti that shows incised knee caps.

The incised and stippled features are typical of early works from Western Tibet.

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