Mongolia, various buddhas (7)

Unlabelled (probably 17th century, Mongolia, gilt copper alloy with pigments), Akshobhya, private collection, photo on HAR .

This remarkable sculpture may be have been made by Zanabazar himself. The shape of the facial features and the way they are painted, the intricate necklace and the delicate hands are very reminiscent of his personal style. Akshobhya is seated on a single lotus with various layers of scalloped petals going upwards, alternating with stamens on the upper one.

18th century, Mongolia, Askhobhya, gilt metal, private collection, photo on HAR

Akshobhya in his buddha appearance, holding a large upright vajra sceptre in his left hand.

18th century, Mongolia, Amitayus, gilt bronze, private collection, photo on Florence Number Nine

Amitayus, seated on a tall double-lotus base, a vase of longevity in both hands, adorned with a five-leaf crown, beaded jewellery and a thin scarf, his tight-fitting lower garment decorated with a floral border.

18th century, Mongolia, Amitayus, gilt metal, at the Imperial Palace Museum in Beijing (China), photo HAR

18th century, Mongolia, Amitayus, gilt bronze inlaid with stones (or glass replacement?), at the Art Institute of Chicago (USA).

An entirely different version, with Chinese-style topknot, festooned tiara and loosely draped lower garment made of fine silk with an embroidered pattern and border. His bracelets and necklace match the dainty floral earrings, the armbands and anklets are reminiscent of late Nepalese works. The broad sash drawn tightly across the chest, most unusual in Mongolia, is decorated with incised scrolling vegetation.

18th century, Inner Mongolia, Dolonnor, Amitayus, gilt bronze with cold gold and pigment, photo by Nagel, sale 105 China 1.

Mongolia, Shakyamuni (5)

18th century, Mongolia, Buddha, gilt bronze (with cold gold and pigments), school of Zanabazar, private collection, photo on GG-ART

The historical buddha (identified by dharma wheels on the sole of his feet?) holding an alms bowl, seated on a single-lotus base with four layers of broad petals overlapping and stamens clearly showing at the top. We will note the large border with an incised motif on his garment, typical of the Zanabazar style.

18th century, Mongolia, Buddha, gilt bronze, school of Zanabazar, private collection, photo on gg-art as above.

The tall lotus base with a stepped plinth and two lotuses facing each other was very popular with followers of Zanabazar during the 18th century.

18th century, Mongolia, Buddha, gilt bronze, school of Zanabazar, private collection, photo on gg-art as above.

Shakyamuni calling Earth to witness his enlightenment, his left hand held in the gesture of meditation, seated on an unusual lotus base with thick beading at the top and at the bottom, two rows of short plum petals facing each other, a broad frieze with a geometrical motif.

18th century, Mongolia, Buddha, gilt bronze, school of Zanabazar, private collection, photo on GG-ART  

Yet another kind of seat typical of the Zanabazar style, consisting in a round lotus with broad petals (always upwards and with a row of clearly visible stamens at the top), in this case with curled tips and an incised edge, supported by a narrow plinth. 

18th century, Mongolia, Buddha, gilt bronze, school of Zanabazar, private collection, photo by Nagel, sale 105 China 1.

The large lotus print on the border of this buddha’s garment is repeated on the plinth.

18th century, Mongolia, Buddha, gilt bronze with cold gold, school of Zanabazar, private collection, photo by Galerie Zacke.

On occasions the cloth folded like a swallow tail over the buddha’s left shoulder is much longer on one side and comes very low down across the chest. We will note the Tibetan-style square facial features, the exaggeratedly broad shoulders, and the plinth with a stippled geometrical pattern plus a chased scrolling vine motif.

Mongolia, various buddhas (6)

Undated (17th-18th century?), Mongolia, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (with cold gold and pigments), private collection, photo by Max Marco Brothers on Max Marco .

The buddha is seated on a Zanabazar-style lotus base, with an alms bowl in his hands. The hem of his robe is decorated with a chased floral pattern, one extremity of the garment is pleated along the border across his chest and on the other side, along his arm, forming a particularly long swallow tail shape, a feature we have seen a couple of times before on Zanabazar style works dated 17th to 18th century.

Undated, Mongolia, Bhaisajyaguru (labelled ‘Shakyamuni’), gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Max Marco Brothers, as before.

Undated (18th century?), Mongolia, medicine buddha, gilt metal, private collection, photo on  HAR.

Probably 18th century, Mongolia, Bhaisajyaguru (labelled ‘Buddha’), gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Doyle Auctions on Doyle.

Seated with his legs locked, the main medicine buddha holds an arura fruit  in his right hand and a bowl in the other.

Undated (17th or 18th century), Mongolia, Amitabha, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Holly Auctions on HAR .

18th century, Mongolia, Amitabha, gilt metal, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources, item 7866.

Amitabha holds a large alms bowl in both hands.

18th century, Mongolia, Akshobhya (labelled ‘Shakyamuni’), gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Nagel, sale 101 China 1.

Akshobhya,  calling Earth to witness with his right hand and holding an upright vajra sceptre in his left hand.

Unlabelled (Mongolia, Vairocana?, gilt copper alloy), private collection, photo on HAR

Undated (circa 18th century), Mongolia, Vajradhara, gilt bronze, Zanabazar style, private collection, photo on Sotheby’s – Australia.

Vajradhara, adorned with princely accessories, holds a vajra sceptre and a bell in his hands crossed over his heart. The way his celestial scarf falls over the sides of the seat is an unusual feature that we saw on a few sculptures dated late 17th and 18th century.

18th c., Mongolia, Shakyamuni crowned?, gilt bronze+rep. crown, 35 cm, prob. Dolonnor, Qahar region, lab. buddha, cloud cape, AU0826 Australia Sotheby's

18th century, Mongolia, probably Dolonnor, Buddha, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s as before.

Inner Mongolia sculptures are very different from the previous Zanabazar school works. The lotus base is different and the accessories are made of gilt copper repoussé.

His monkish garb, complemented by a delicate cloud-shaped cape, and his short hair curls distinguish identify him as the historical buddha in his crowned aspect, adorned with a copper repoussé crown and a necklace (no armbands, bracelets and anklets).

Mongolia, various buddhas (5)

17th century, (Mongolia), buddha, gilt bronze, Zanabazar school, private collection, photo on https://www.polyauction.com.hk.

This buddha, probably Shakyamuni, is seated on a tall lotus base typical of the Zanabazar school, his right hand doing the teaching gesture, the other held in meditation.

17th-18th century, Mongolia, Amitabha, gilt bronze, Zanabazar school, private collection, photo by Andrew Lau for Hollywood Galleries

Amitabha holds a begging bowl in both hands over his lap.

18th century, Mongolia, Vairocana, gilt bronze, private collection, item 24092 on Himalayan Art Resources.

18th century, Mongolia, Vairocana, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Koller

Apart from a gesture specific to him, Vairocana may be ‘turning the wheel of the law’ with his hands. The above has cold gold on his face, painted facial features and blue pigment on his hair.

The broad hem of his garment is decorated with a stippled lotus motif.

17th century, Mongolia, Bhaisajyaguru, gilt bronze, Zanabazar school, private collection, photo by Polyauction

The medicine buddha is easily identified by the arura fruit in his right hand and the medicine jar or bowl in his left hand, both kept in place by several raised fingers.

18th c., Mongolia, Ratnasambhava, 10,5 cm, lab. Bhaisahyaguru or R., Astamangala

18th century, Mongolia, Ratnasambhava or Bhaisajyaguru, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo on Astamangala

17th century, Mongolia, Vajradhara, gilt bronze (copper alloy), school of Zanabazar, private collection, photo by Polyauction as before.

 

Mongolia, Amitayus/Amitabha (6)

17th century, (Mongolia), Amitayus, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo  on Polyauction 

Particularly popular in Mongolia, Amitayus, long-life deity and aspect of Amitabha with a bodhisattva appearance, holds a long-life vase with both hands. He is seated on a tall double lotus base associated with Zanabazar and his school.

17th century, Mongolia, Amitayus, gilt bronze (copper alloy), school of Zanabazar, private collection, photo on Polyauction 

As we have seen in previous posts, Zanabazar himself adorned his figures with very detailed and delicate accessories. His followers simplified greatly the design of the jewellery and crown. The lower part of the lotus base is often decorated with a chased lotus pattern.

17th century, Mongolia, Amitayus (labelled ‘bodhisattva’) gilt bronze (copper alloy), school of Zanabazar, private collection, photo by Christie’s 

Undated (circa 17th century), Mongolia, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy, pigments, private collection, photo on HAR 

Undated (17th century?), Mongolia, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy, private collection, item 32279 on Himalayan Art Resources .

18th century, Mongolia, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy, private collection, item 12979 on Himalayan Art Resources.

17th-18th century, Mongolia, Amitayus, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Christie’s https://www.christies.com.

This Chinese-style Amitayus wears a floral necklace and has a tall lotus and jewel finial on his three-tier hair bun. Some long strands of hair are split from the rest and form a curl over his arms. There is no urna on his forehead.

18th c., Mongolia, Dolonnor, Amitayus, cop. rep.+glass, 53 cm, Paris sothebys

18th century, Mongolia, Dolonnor, Amitayus, (parcel-gilt) copper repoussé with glass inlay and pigments, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s

The Dolonnor area is famous for its copper repoussé works. The above wears ornate accessories painted with cold gold and inlaid with glass cabochons, some possibly at a later date.

18th century, Mongolia, Amitabha, gilt copper alloy, school of Zanabazar, private collection, photo by Bonhams https://www.bonhams.com.

Undated, Mongolia, Amitabha or Shakyamuni, gilt metal, private collection, item 32272 on Himalayan Art Resources.

Mongolia, Shakyamuni (4)

17th century, (Mongolia), Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Polyauction https://www.polyauction.com.hk.

17th century, (Mongolia), Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Polyauction as before.

On these two images the historical buddha is seated on a tall lotus base typical of the Zanabazar school, holding a begging bowl in his left hand and ‘calling Earth to witness’ with the other. His robe is decorated with a broad incised border, and a piece of the garment is folded elegantly in a swallow tail shape over his left shoulder while an extremity of the cloth forms an elegant triangular shape on the other side.

17th-18th century, Mongolia, Shakyamuni, parcel-gilt bronze, private collection, photo on Cambiaste

Parcel-gilt Mongolian works are rare. In this instance, the gilding has been applied to the garments of the buddha and the lotus base while the hair and facial features have been painted with pigments.

17th-18th century, Mongolia, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Christie’s

A variant, with both hands supporting the bowl (only the wheels on the sole of his feet distinguish him from Amitabha).

17th century, (Mongolia), Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Polyauction.

The artist who created this work was inspired by the style of Zanabazar but the end result is quite different, especially the lotus base and the body proportions.

Early 18th century, Mongolia, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), photo on Galerie Hioco

Late 18th century, Mongolia, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

18th century, Mongolia, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

17th century, (Mongolia), Shakyamuni, gilt bronze and blue pigment, private collection, photo by Polyauction as below.

Another lotus base typical of Mongolian art, consisting in a single large lotus flower, with stamens.

18th century, Mongolia, Amitabha or Shakyamuni (labelled ‘buddha’), gilt bronze, private collection, photo on Polyauction

A variant, with a thinner and taller plinth, scallop-shaped petals overlapping each other, the upper ones interleaved with semi-circular beading, tall stamens.

18th century Mongolia, Shakyamuni, gilt copper repoussé with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s

The face of this buddha shows traces of cold gold applied to the head that has not been fire-gilt, a common practice in Mongolia.

18th century Mongolia, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

Mongolia, various buddhas (4)

18th century, Mongolia, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), attributed to Zanabazar, at the Choijin temple in Ulaan Baatar (Mongolia), photo by Daniel Waugh, on http://www.depts.washington.edu.

Draped in Chinese silk garments, the historical buddha is seated on a lotus throne with an intricate Nepalese-style back panel including mythical creatures and a garuda at the top. He holds a begging bowl in his left hand and calls Earth to witness his enlightenment with the other.

18th century, Mongolia, Akshobhya, gilt bronze (copper alloy), Zanabazar school, at the Choijin temple in Ulaan Baatar (Mongolia), photo by Daniel Waugh, on http://www.depts.washington.edu.

Akshobhya in his bodhisattva appearance, identified by the upright vajra sceptre in his left hand, his face painted with pigments, is adorned with accessories inlaid with turquoise and clear gems. He wears a thin scarf and a tight-fitting lower garment with the tail end arranged in a scallop shape over the lotus base.

18th-19th century, Mongolia, Amitayus, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Florence Number Nine.

Amitayus holds his hands in the meditation gesture to support a (missing) long-life vase. His two-tier hair bun is topped with a lotus and flaming jewel finial, the long scarf or shawl goes over the front of the lotus seat supported by a tall conical base with a plain rim and three tiers incised with scrolling vegetation and a geometrical design similar to the symbol used to represent vermilion in Buddhist art.