Tibet, Manjushri – various forms (15)

12th-13th c., India, Manjushri, bronze, 14,1 cm, Arapacana form, 1985.189 Cleveland MoA

12th-13th century, Tibet (labelled ‘India’), Manjushri, bronze, item 1985.189 at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

We saw a very similar brass sculpture of Manjushri on Sotheby’s , standing on the same type of lotus base with a stepped plinth, a narrower upper part, and broad swollen petals with an upturned tip, dressed in a short dhoti with a stippled lotus pattern, a belt, and a sash knotted on one side. He holds the long stem of an open lotus that supports the Prajnaparamita sutra, topped with a pearl, and brandishes a sword engraved with a geometrical motif. 

12th-13th c., India, Manjushri, bronze, 14,1 cm, Arapacana form, back of dhoti, 1985.189 Cleveland MoA

13th c., Western Tibet, Manjushri, brass+cop., 49 cm, blue lotus+book, MEB CF 3146 Museu de les C. del Mon

13th century, Western Tibet, Manjushri, brass with copper inlay (and traces of cold gold on the neck and face), item MEB CF 3146 at the Museu Etnològic i de Cultures del Món in Barcelona (Spain).

White Manjushri, standing with his right hand in the gesture of supreme generosity, the left one making a gesture to bestow patience (unusual for this bodhisattva), flanked by a blue lotus to his left topped with a tiny book, and another lotus to his right, now broken, that may have supported the hilt of a sword.

13th c., Western Tibet, Manjushri, brass+cop. urna, 49 cm, blue lotus+book, MEB CF 3146 Museu de les C. del Mon

He has a copper-inlaid urna on his forehead and his Pala-style facial features suggest that his eyes may have been once inlaid with silver.

18th c., Tibet, Manjushri, gilt c.a. rep.+cold g+pig., 54 cm, IS12-2011 V&A

18th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt copper repoussé with cold gold and pigments, at the V&A museum in London (UK).

White Manjushri seated, his hands in the ‘turning the wheel of dharma‘ gesture and holding the stem of lotuses that support the hilt of a sword, to his right, and the manuscript topped with a flaming pearl on the other side. There is a half-vajra finial on his chignon. 

16th or later?, Eastern Tibet, Manjushri jnanasattva, gilt cop.(+stones), IM.28-1929 V&A

Undated (16th century or later?), Eastern Tibet, Manjushri, Namasangiti (labelled ‘Jnanasattva´), gilt copper with stone inlay, at the Victoria & Albert Museumin London (UK).

The four-arm namasangiti  Manjushri always holds a bow and an arrow (missing from his lower right hand) in two of his hands, and usually has a sword and a blue lotus (sometimes topped with a book) in the other two, although in Tibet he may hold the book close to his heart as above (unlike the jnanasattva aspect who has two empty hands making the gesture of debate).

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