Tibet, Manjushri – various forms (2)

11th century, Tibet, Manjushri, bronze with paint, at the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg (Russia).

This work, displaying a mixture of Kashmiri, Himachal Pradesh, Indian and West Tibetan features, depicts Manjushri  seated in the vajra position, brandishing a flaming sword and holding the Prajnaparamita sutra against his heart – a form generally  called arapachana although when the book is in his hand (rather than on a blue lotus to his left) it is sometimes referred to as sthiracakra.

12th-13th century, Tibet, Manjughosa (a form of Manjushri), gilt bronze (copper alloy) with paint and stones, t the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg (Russia).

In his peaceful form Manjushri doesn’t have a sword. The above holds the stem of a lotus that supports a book topped with three pearls (to his left).

15th-16th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt bronze (copper alloy), at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences at Power House Museum in Sydney (Australia).

From the 13th century onwards he may hold the stem of a lotus supporting the hilt of a sword to his right and the other lotus supports the book. Apart from the style of the lotus base and the belt with raining jewels, the fact that his hands are held in the dharmacakra mudra suggests that this sculpture was made by a Nepalese artist.

16th century, Tibet, Manjushri, copper alloy, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (USA).

A rare image of Manjushri as a child, his hair divided in five top knots, holding a lotus topped with a book in his right hand and a roundish object in the other (possibly a conch shell).

 

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Tibet, Manjushri – various forms

Undated (circa 11th century?), Western Tibet, Guge Kingdom, Ngari Manjushri, brass, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Manjushri, the bodhisattva of wisdom,  is particularly easy to identify when he brandishes a sword. In his sthiracakra form he holds the Prajnaparamita tantra in his left hand at heart level, as above.

The tripartite crown with triangular panels and large rosettes, the foliate garland, the stippled decoration on the accessories and the incisions are typical of the Ngari area.

14th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt copper alloy, at the Rietberg Museum in Zürich (Switzerland), photo from the Hungtington Archive.

In his arapachana form he holds at heart level the stem of a lotus that supports the manuscript. According to the texts, it should be a blue lotus, which has a triangular shape because it is never fully open (unlike this one).

15th-16th century, Tibet, Guhyasamaja Manjuvajra, gilt copper, photo from the Huntington Archive.

One of the various forms of Manjushri derived from the namasangiti tantra, Guhyasamaja Manjuvajra may be with his consort or alone. He has three heads and six hands, in which he holds a flaming sword and a blue lotus (utpala) topped with a book (upper hands), a vajra sceptre and a bell -missing here from his main hands – a bow and an arrow (lower hands).

15th century, Tibet (labelled China on Himalayan Art Resources), Manjushri, gilt copper alloy and turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Originally, White Manjushri had no sword at all. From the 13th century onwards he started to be depicted with lotuses supporting the manuscript to his left and the hilt of a sword to his right.

Circa 15th century, Tibet, possibly Central Tibet (Tsang atelier), bronze (copper alloy), at Tibet House Museum in New Delhi, photo from the Huntington Archive.

His hands often do the ‘turning the wheel of dharma‘ gesture.

16th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt copper alloy with coral and turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Hayman Himalayan Art.

When seated, even if the hilt of a sword is not visible, the book on the lotus to his left is enough to identify him.

Tibet, White Manjushri – standing (3)

12th century, Western Tibet, bodhisattva Manjushri, schist and pigments, at Stanford University (USA), published on Himalayan Art Resources.

The manuscript and/or the blue lotus that help identify him are missing.

His moonlike face and his hair are painted with pigments, the chignon is fastened with a golden ribbon and topped with a lotus bud finial. He is adorned with a low tiara, princely jewellery and a sacred thread. His right hand, displays a refuge-bestowing gesture (the tip of the ring finger pressing the tip of the thumb).

 

11th-12th century, Western Himalayas, probably Manjushri, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Pundoles.This West-Tibetan style sculpture is almost the same as a West Tibetan  Manjushri at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, published in a previous post and reproduced below. He holds the stem of a lotus topped with a  manuscript in his left hand and has an upright conch shell in the other.

11th-12th century, Western Tibet, brass, at the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford, UK).

17th-18th century, tibet, Manjushri, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Lempertz.

The lotuses that support the hilt of a sword and the Prajnaparamita sutra are a clear indication that this is the bodhisattva of wisdom. His tall Pala-style chignon is also topped with a lotus finial. He wears a long transparent dhoti that reveals his knee caps. The hands are held in the ‘turning the wheel of dharma’ gesture more often seen on Chinese and Nepalese sculptures of Manjushri than on Tibetan ones.

Tibet, peaceful Manjushri – seated (7)

16th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt bronze (copper alloy) and stones, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

The bodhisattva of wisdom is doing the ‘turning the wheel of dharma‘ gesture while holding the stem of lotuses that support a book and the hilt of a sword.

His long dhoti is decorated with fine incisions throughout and his belt is engraved with a geometrical pattern. He wears showy beaded and stone-inlaid jewellery including ankle ornaments worn over his garment.

Undated, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt metal, turquoise, lapis lazuli and coral inlay, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

A similar Newari-style image,

16th-17th century, Tibet or Nepal, Manjushri, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

 

Tibet, Manjushri, namasangiti (4)

17th century, Tibet, Manjughosa, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Far East Asian Art.

The namasangiti form of Manjushri/Manjughosa may have 1 or 3 heads and up to 12 arms. The above has one head and four hands, in which he holds a sword and a manuscript; the missing attributes are a bow and an arrow.

Undated (circa 18th century ?), Tibet, Manjushri, namasangiti, copper alloy and cold gold, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

On this Pala-revival image we can see the bow in one of his left hands. The other left hand holds the long stem of a blue lotus supporting the Prajnaparamita sutra topped with a flaming jewel.

16th century, (Tibet?), Manjushri, namasangiti, silvered copper alloy with stones and coral, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Tibet, Manjushri with sword (5)

11th century, Western Tibet, Manjushri, copper alloy, private collection, published on http://www.asianartresource.com

The bodhisattva of wisdom brandishes a vajra-tipped sword in one hand and holds the stem of a blue lotus topped with a manuscript in the other. He wears a Ladakhi-style tripartite crown and a long celestial scarf, large floral earrings, beaded jewellery, belt and sacred cord. His dhoti, much shorter on one side, is decorated with an incised geometrical pattern. A large turquoise stone marks the urna on his forehead. He displays Kashmiri features such as the marked pectorals and the cruciform navel.

12th-13th century, Tibet, Manjushri, bronze, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

A Pala-style version of the same deity, wearing a knee-length garment decorated with a stippled floral motif.

Undated, Western Tibet, Manjushri, copper alloy and cold gold, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

This is an example of the  ‘Pala-revival’ style in Tibet, of which there 2 main phases (14th-15th century and 17th-18th century).

 

The sword is broken but the lotus supporting a book topped with a pearl identify Manjushri beyond doubt.

Late 15th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt copper alloy and turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Newar artists from the Kathmandu valley brought with them to Tibet the custom of gilding the sculpture and decorating it with small cabochons. This item also displays Chinese features such as the ample draping of the dhoti and the shawl over the shoulders with loops at elbow level.

 

Tibet, Manjushri – Namasangiti (3)

Late 16th century, Tibet, Manjuvajra Manjushri, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

There are various forms of Manjushri derived from the namasangiti tantra. Manjuvajra usually has three heads and six hands and may be depicted alone or with his consort. Traditionally, he holds a bow and an arrow, a sword and a blue lotus, his main hands embrace the consort and may hold a bell and a thunderbolt sceptre (as above).

The hair is pulled into a joint chignon topped with a half-vajra finial, partly hidden by the (broken) blade of his sword.

16th century, Tibet, Namasangiti Manjushri, gilt copper, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

Very rare in sculpture, this form of Manjushri with six heads and two hands is labelled Samkshipta Guhyaka, Namasangiti on the forever useful Himalayan Art Resources website. The hands are held in the gesture of meditation while holding the stem of lotuses that support the Prajnaparamita sutra.