Tibet, various female deities (5)

Undated (circa 15th century), Central Tibet, Densatil, Parnashavari, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay, at the Capital Museum in Beijing, photo on Himalayan Art Resources https://www.himalayanart.org/items/59828.

Parnashavari, the ‘Wild Leafy One’, of Hindu origin, with three heads and six arms, wearing a jewelled skirt and blouse made of leaves, holds a vajra sceptre, an axe and an arrow in her right hands, a lasso, a fan made of fresh leaves and a bow in the others. On this example her main face is smiling.

Undated (circa 15th century), Tibet, Parnashavari, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources https://www.himalayanart.org/items/200695.

This other masterpiece depicts her with a yakshi appearance, half crouching and half kneeling with the leg turned inwards in an awkward position, her skirt held in place with a snake, her main face wrathful. The rim of the base is decorated with Lantsha script.

15th century, Central Tibet, Tsang province, Marichi, gilt metal with pigments and stones, photo on Himalayan Art Resources https://www.himalayanart.org/items/13186.

The goddess of dawn and mercy in her three-head form (two human ones, each with three eyes, and the head of a sow on her left side), six hands, holding a vajra sceptre, a needle and an arrow in her right hands, a manuscript, an ashoka tree branch, and a thread in her left ones. Her skirt is decorated with a floral and scrolling vine motif, her belt and celestial scarf have raining jewel pendants studded with gems.

15th century, Central Tibet, Tsang province, (Sarasvati), gilt metal with turquoise inlay, photo on Himalayan Art Resources https://www.himalayanart.org/items/1737.

Sarasvati in her one-head and two-hand form, seated on an unusual lotus base with larger petals at the top, plays the vina. She wears a shawl and a lower garment with a chased floral motif and embossed flowers studded with gems; her princely jewellery is inlaid with turquoise.

15th century, Tibet, Vishvamata, gilt metal with stone and coral inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s https://www.christies.com.

A rare sculpture of Kalachakra’s consort depicted alone, seated like White Tara, her right hand expressing supreme generosity, the other doing a gesture to bestow refuge while holding the stem of a lotus. Unlike White Tara, she has no third eye but an urna on her forehead. During the 15th century, many gilt copper alloy sculptures of peaceful deities with princely accessories included a profusion of medium-size turquoise and coral cabochons.

 

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