Tibet, Mahasiddha Kanha (2)

16th century, Central Tibet, Mahasiddha Kanha, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

The Indian adept, also known as Krishnacharya, holds a skull cup in his right hand and does a pointing gesture with the other.

18th century, Tibet or Himalayan region, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay and pigments, at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York (USA).

He normally holds the skull cup in his left hand and may do the teaching gesture with the other, as above. He is seated on a double lotus base with a petal design often seen on Bhutanese works (but not exclusively), his left foot resting on a lotus fastened to the rim. He is adorned with a five-skull tiara, large hoops and turquoise-inlaid accessories.

His facial features are painted with pigments and the hair dyed blue.

Same, gilt brass (copper alloy) and cold gold, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Like other Indian masters or siddhas  who have founded or taken part to the foundation of a Buddhist school in Tibet, he may be depicted wearing the full Tibetan monastic attire. We see him here holding a manuscript in his left hand and wearing felt boots.



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