Jammu and Kashmir, Shakyamuni (2)

Circa 6th century, Kashmir, Shakyamuni, stone, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

The treatment of the facial features, pose and draping suggest this sculpture of the buddha holding a large bowl was made in Jammu and Kashmir (see the Met collection). He wears a garland of flowers and a large open lotus decorates his halo.

8th century, Kashmir, Shakyamuni, ivory, at the Cleveland Museum of Art (USA).

This fragment, probably from a portable shrine, is obviously related to a 7th century ivory set  attributed to Jammu Kashmir on the Huntington Archive .

8th century, Kashmir, attendants, ivory, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (USA).

The same goes for this fragment.

10th century, Jammu and Kashmir (labelled ‘Swat Valley’), bronze, private collection, photo on  Hardt  Compare with a circa 9th century crowned buddha at the Met , same tall crown with crescent moon and flower design, same flowing ribbons, same type of jewellery, same backplate. On this example the kneeling attendant has a yaksha appearance, with a fan-shaped hair bunch and snake adornments; he holds a long garland or snake.


Jammu and Kashmir, various styles (2)

12th century, Jammu and Kashmir, Shakyamuni (labelled Amitabha), wood, at the British Museum in London (UK).

This rare wooden work likely depicts Shakyamuni in his ‘crowned buddha’ form, dressed in a sanghati that covers both shoulders, his hands in the meditation gesture. (Amitabha with a princely appearance would be wearing a lower garment only). The treatment of the face, especially the eyes, and the lotus seat recall a wooden buddha at the Cleveland Museum previous labelled Ladakh (Jammu and Kashmir) and now labelled ‘Western Tibet’.

10th-11th century, Jammu and Kashmir or Western Tibet, Ratnasambhava, panel from a crown, wood with traces of polychromy, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (USA).

Ratnasambhava is identified by the horses that support his throne (see close up here). He is shown in his bodhisattva appearance, wearing a long dhoti and adorned with a garland, beaded jewellery and a tripartite crown with rosettes and ribbons like those on the clay sculptures at Charang and Poo seen previously. Above his head, two leogryphs, and at the top, Kirtimukha with vegetation in his mouth.

Circa 8th century, Jammu and Kashmir, Vajrapani, bronze (copper alloy) with turquoise, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (USA).

Compare the incised geometrical motif on Vajrapani’s garment, his facial features, the shape of his crown and earrings with a sculpture seen in the Ladakh section of this blog and reproduced below:

10th century, Ladakh, Rakta Lokeshvara, photo by Christie’s.


Jammu and Kashmir, various styles

5th-6th century, Jammu and Kashmir or Pakistan, bodhisattva in contemplative pose, stone, at the  Metropolitan Museum of Art  (New York, USA).

A pensive bodhisattva with braided hair, a low tripartite crown, simple and rather bulky jewellery including two necklaces with squarish beads, some sandals on his feet.

6th century, Gandhara or Jammu and Kashmir, bodhisattva, grey schist, same as before Met.

This one, possibly Avalokiteshvara in his padmapani (lotus bearer) form,  wears similar accessories. He stands before a mandorla roughly chiselled to mark the flames around it, dressed in a garment with deeply incised folds.

8th century, Kashmir/Swat Valley, (Avalokiteshvara) Padmapani, bronze, private collection, photo on  Kappor Galleries.

We have seen various bronze figures from Jammu and Kashmir seated or standing on a lotus flower with a cylindrical stem, including one  like this with a flat surface and serrated edge (see below).

4th-5th century, J&K,  Lacma.

9th century, Jammu and Kashmir, Shakyamuni, bronze (brass) with silver inlay, same as before photo on Met Museum .

The throne of the historical buddha is covered with a tasseled cloth and supported by two lions lying sideways, unlike those depicted in Swat Valley and Kashmiri art, who sit frontways.

Jammu and Kashmir, Shakyamuni

4th-5th century, Kashmir or Gandhara, Shakyamuni, bronze, private collection, photo by 25 Blythe Road, London (UK).

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has a 5th century Maitreya bronze attributed to Jammu and Kashmir with the same lotus seat, published in a previous post and reproduced below for comparison (the above is missing its stem).

5th century, Jammu and Kashmir, Maitreya sitting on lotus, copper alloy, at Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Both figures are seated on a convex surface, unlike a 4th century Maitreya bronze at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford,  standing on a similar pedestal but with narrower and more pointed petals arranged around a flat surface.

Undated (circa 9th century?), (Jammu and?) Kashmir, Shakyamuni, brass, private collection, photo published on Himalayan Art Resources.

The historical buddha is seated on an animal skin atop a lotus base supported by a stepped plinth and backed by an interesting mandorla with a plain arch and a nimbus engraved with flames, topped with a jewel and ribbons. His facial features, tall crown and earrings are very similar to those we saw on a circa 9th century  Shakyamuni (seated), and the crown design is reminiscent of another such statue, (standing), both at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (see below).

9th-10th century, Jammu and Kashmir or Pakistan, Shakyamuni, bone, pigments and cold gold, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (USA).


Jammu and Kashmir, crowned buddha

9th century circa, Jammu and Kashmir, Shakyamuni, copper, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (USA).

9th century circa, Jammu and Kashmir, Shakyamuni, copper, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (USA).

The tall crown made of three equal panels with a crescent and a lotus flower is specifically associated with Jammu and Kashmir. It includes the usual bows and rosettes on each side, and long soft ribbons that flow downwards behind his floral earrings and past his shoulders. The flames on the back panel have a singular zig-zag shape pointed at both ends. His eyes and urna are inlaid with silver. He holds one end of his transparent garment in his left hand. The right hand does the charity mudra. The long sleeves of his v-necked upper garment have some small cuffs. There is a thin celestial scarf resting on his right arm and left knee. He has two necklaces, a short one made of large round beads and a long one made of cloth or cord and flat ornaments. As usual with Kashmiri works of that period, the ‘artichoke-leaf’ double lotus base is placed on a plain rectangular pedestal. The donor at the bottom wears a headdress that evokes earlier Gandhara sculptures of devotees.

Kashmir, 6-armed Manjushri

9th century, Kashmir, bodhisattva Manjushri, copper alloy with silvier and copper inlay, at the Norton Simon Museum (USA).

9th century, (Jammu?) Kashmir, bodhisattva Manjushri, copper alloy, at the Norton Simon Museum (USA).

This is a rare sculpture of peaceful Manjushri with 6 arms (shadbhuja) accompanied by a peacok. The bodhisattva holds a rosary and three jewels in two of his right hands and a manuscript, a lotus and a citrus fruit  in his left hands. he stands on a double-lotus base, which is more often seen on Swat Valley sculptures and consists of a set of lotus petals going upwards joined to a larger, inverted one, both with well defined almond-shaped petals with  a very sharp point. The lotus base is on a platform imitating rocky formation, itself placed on a plinth.  There is a thick garland going from his shoulder to just above his ankles. He has the usual Kashmiri broad shoulders, prominent abdomen muscles around a deep navel, and the typical Kashmiri facial features, with silver-inlaid eyes. The prominent knee-caps are often seen on 9th-11th century statues from Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. In this case, there is are also two semi-circular incisions below the kneecap. He is wearing a waist-skirt with singular pleating marked with deep grooves, and, under it, a transparent dhoti, the hem is decorated with incisions and the  ends of the cloth are pleated between the legs. Both lower garments are held with a small belt and there is a sash across his hips. His tall crown with crescents and a floral design typical of Jammu and Kashmir is worn over a particularly thick fringe of hair adorned with a row of beading.  The  plaited hair on each side of his head is decorated with rosettes similar to his earrings. He wears two short necklaces and a longer one, a sacred thread, bracelets, armbands and anklets.

Jammu and Kashmir, sitting buddha

9th-11th century, Jammu and Kashmir, historical buddha, copper alloy, at Hemis monastery in Ladakh, Huntington Archives

9th-11th century, Jammu and Kashmir, historical buddha, copper alloy, at Hemis monastery in Ladakh, Huntington Archives.

He sits on a throne decorated with lions and a Yaksha (giant supporting the sky) between them. The draping placed on the statue masks most of it but the lion throne and the style of the head and face are definitely Kashmiri. Most of the statues that are now in museums or private collections have lost their mandorla  and those that are still on the back of Kashmiri works don’t look like this one. It may have been added later or it may have been made locally. It may also be that larger statues like this one (71 cm) had different types of mandorlas.