Tibet, Mahasiddha Tilopa (2)

16th-17th century, Mahasiddha Tilopa, gilt bronze (copper alloy), at the Linden Museum in Stuttgart, published on Wikipedia commons.

Seated on an antelope skin, his left foot over his right thigh, Tilopa holds a skull cup in the left hand and a fish in the other – his distinctive attribute. The right hand also displays the gesture to ward off evil (tarjani mudra). He is adorned with a three-skull tiara with ribbons and a skull finial on his chignon, earplugs, bone jewellery and body belt.

17th century, Mahasiddha Tilopa, rhinoceros horn, at the Rumtek monastery in Sikkim, photo by Nik Douglas.

Part of a set of Mahasiddhas, this sculpture shows him leaning against his right hand and holding the fish towards him.

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

Atypically, Tilopa holds the fish in his left hand (assuming the photo is the right way round) while calling Earth to witness with the other. He sits on a snow lion skin over two cushions covered with a cloth.


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