Tibet, Milarepa – variants (2)

15th century, Tibet, Milarepa, silver-plated copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Milarepa’s right hand is normally raised to his ear or placed over his knee. On this sculpture, the right hand does the gesture of teaching, while the left hand rests on the knee. The antelope or lion skin on which he usually sits is not featured (nor on the work below). No jewellery or yogic strap either.

Undated, Tibet, Milarepa, polychrome wood, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Another unusual variant, with the right hand held palm out rather than against the ear and his legs in the vajra position. The left hand probably supported a skull cup or a  bowl.

16th century, Tibet, Milarepa, ivory and paint, at the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg (Russia).

This time, the yogi leans on his left hand while raising his right hand to his ear.

17th century, Tibet, Milarepa, rhinoceros horn, at Rumtek monastery, Sikkim (modern India), photo by Nik douglas.

This picture is probably the wrong way round, the bare shoulder should be the right one, and he would normally lean against his left arm and have his right hand resting across his knee.  He sits on a lion skin, over a rocky formation.

Undated (17th century circa?), Tibet, silver, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

A very rare and beautifully crafted portrait of the Tibetan saint with a wrathful expression on his face.

18th century, Tibet, Milarepa, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Another image of him with his legs in the vajra position. There is no animal skin on the lotus base.

18th century, Tibet, Milarepa, stone and paint, at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York (USA).

This image departs slightly from the standard iconography as he doesn’t normally use his raised knee to support his right arm.

18th century, Tibet, Milarepa, gilt copper alloy, at the Linden Museum in Stuttgart, published on Wikipedia Commons.

In this case, the left hand is not held in the meditation gesture, or any other symbolical gesture, and the animal skin faces to his right instead of the head being at the front. He holds a small bowl rather than a skull cup.

 

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