Tibet, wrathful Vajrapani (10)

14th century, Tibet, labelled blue Vajravidarana, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Hollywood Galleries.

The deity Vajravidarana has a wrathful form with a blue body but his distinctive attribute is a double thunderbolt sceptre (visvajra) whereas the above holds a single one (vajra) and is more likely the Nila Vajravidarana form of Vajrapani. He stands on two victims and holds a bell (ghanta) upside-down in his left hand. He is adorned with snakes.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Vajrapani, bronze, photo by Prajna Gallery, published on http://www.fareastasianart.com

The same form with a Chinese-style cross-belt and garland of severed heads.

16th century, Tibet, Vajrapani, gilt metal, private collection, photo by Walter Harader, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Among the various forms of Vajrapani with a wrathful appearance several of them depict him with a human face. The above has flaming hair fastened into a mitre-like chignon and adorned with a skull tiara. He wears princely jewellery, a dhoti and a sash but also a tiger skin around his waist.

17th century, Tibet, Vajrapani, painted clay, made by Choying Dorje, photo by N. Ronge, published by Ian Alsop.

One of the many and highly original works by the tenth Karmapa, this sculpture depicts Vajrapani seated on a lotus supported by a prostrated cow. He holds the vajra sceptre in his left hand, the other arm is broken.

Undated (18th century circa?), Tibet, Vajrapani, bronze, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York (USA).




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