Tibet, Manjushri – various forms (8)

13th-14th century, Tibet, Manjushri, copper alloy with silver and turquoise inlay, photo by Elizabeth Mann, at the Seattle Art Museum (USA).

White Manjushri, seated with his legs locked, the right hand expressing supreme generosity, the other holding the stem of a lotus that supports a manuscript, the Prajnaparamita sutra, topped with a pearl.

14th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt bronze with turquoise, gemstones and glass, private collection, photo on Galerie Zacke .

When flanked by two lotuses, White Manjushri may ‘turn the wheel of dharma‘ with his hands, and the hilt of a sword, stone-inlaid in this case, protrudes from the flower to his right (the book on the other side is missing). As pointed out by the gallery, this sculpture was probably made by a Nepalese artist for a Tibetan patron. The squarish face and lavish use of turquoise cabochons (some of them missing or replaced) certainly correspond to the Tibetan taste.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Manjushri, bronze with cold gold and pigments, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s, Arts d’Asie 10th June 2015, lot 169.

White Manjushri standing, his right hand doing the gesture of debate (vitarka mudra), not normally associated with him, the left hand holding a lotus that supports the book topped with a pearl.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Manjushri (labelled ‘Vishnu’), parcel-gilt bronze, private collection, photo on Sotheby’s

When standing and holding two lotuses  topped with the said attributes, he usually belongs to a group of eight bodhisattvas.

16th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt copper alloy with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Koller, sale A165AS lot102.

Arapachana Manjushri sits with his legs locked, wielding a sword and holding  a book before his heart. On paintings he has a white body.

18th century, Tibet, Manjuvajra, gilt bronze, private collection, photo on De Zwaan .

Namasangiti Manjushri/Manjuvajra with four hands, holding a sword and a lotus topped with a book, an arrow and bow.

Tibet, Manjushri – various forms (7)

10th-11th century, Western Tibet, Manjushri (labelled ‘Avalokiteshvara’), gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo here

White Manjushri standing, his right hand doing a fear-allaying  gesture, the other holding the stem of a blue lotus topped with the Prajnaparamita sutra. 

14th-15th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt bronze with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo on Galerie Zacke  

White Manjushri seated on a double-lotus base, his hands doing the ‘turning the wheel of law’ gesture with his hands set apart, and holding the stem of lotuses that support the hilt of a sword to his right and a manuscript to his left.

16th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt bronze (copper alloy and stone inlay), private collection, photo on Lempertz

The same form of Manjushri, doing the dharmacakra mudra with his hands almost touching.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt copper (alloy?) with pigments and semi-precious stones, at the National Gallery of Victoria (Australia).

Still seated in the vajra position, wielding a sword (broken here) in his right hand and holding the stem of a night lotus topped with a book in the other.

14th century, Tibet, Namasangiti Manjushri, Manjuvajra, metal (copper alloy?), at the Rietberg Museum in Zürich (Switzerland), photo on HAR

15th century, Tibet, Manjuvajra, (gilt metal with pigments), private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources

In his Manjuvajra form, described in the Namasangiti tantra, he is always seated and has three heads and six arms. The main hands are crossed over his heart with the palm inward, and may hold a vajra sceptre and a vajra bell. The others hold a bow and an arrow, a sword and a lotus.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Namasangiti, gilt bronze, private collection, photo on Christie’s, Paris  .

A rare form of Manjushri described in the Mayajala Tantra, with one head and twelve arms, the upper ones stretched above the head to symbolise Mount Meru, the main hands held before his heart with the palm facing outward, the next ones down sprinkling ambrosia into the bowl held by the lower pair of hands, which contains the effigy of a buddha in this instance. The remaining hands usually hold a bow and an arrow (both missing here), a visvajra topped with a sword and a ritual staff topped with a vajra sceptre. His six pairs of hands represent the five wisdom buddhas plus Vajrasattva.

Tibet, Manjushri – various forms (6)

11th century, Western Tibet, White Manjushri, brass, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

This Kashmiri-style sculpture displays features associated with the Guge kingdom, such as the accessories with a large floral design, the long garland of individually crafted flowers, the dhoti much shorter on one side and made of strips of coloured cloth (represented by silver and copper inlay) with a deeply incised motif, the large head with a tall crown and prominent bows. Since the lotus in his left hand is broken, the only element that identifies him as Manjushri is, presumably, his hair style.

16th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Nagel, sale 736 China 3.

White Manjushri seated, holding the stem of lotuses that support the hilt of a sword and the Prajnaparamita sutra.

12th century, Tibet, Manjushri, copper alloy (labelled ‘copper’), private collection, photo on Ethereal  and Sotheby’s (who give a 12th-13th century date).

Manjushri on a Pala-style lotus base, brandishing a flaming sword and holding a lotus topped with the book. The very tall central leaf on his crown recalls a 12th-13th century Tibetan Manjushri seen previously. This one wears a shorter dhoti decorated with a stippled lotus print, held in place with a belt and a sash.

11th-12th century, Western Tibet (or later Chinese copy?), Arapacana Manjughosa, bronze, private collection?, photo on gg-art

There are two forms of Manjushri seated with his legs locked, wielding a sword above his head with the right hand and holding a book close to his heart with the left hand:  arapachana, with a white body on paintings, and sthiracakra bhavana described as having  saffron-coloured skin. In Western Tibet the book is usually held vertically.

18th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt bronze, private collection?, photo on gg-art as before, page 30.

Vadisimha Manjushri, seated on a lion with his left leg pendent, holding the stem of lotuses that hold the hilt of a sword and a book (missing here). His hands are normally held in the teaching gesture (‘turning the wheel of dharma‘).

Tibet, Manjushri – various forms (5)

Regarding the first item below, see the new page (left-hand column of this blog) on the Ngari style and related works attributed to Western Tibet ateliers.

13th century, Tibet, Manjushri, brass, at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum, Mumbai (India), photo on Photo Dharma

White Manjushri, standing, holding the stem of a blue lotus (utpala) that supports the Prajnaparamita manuscript, his right hand held palm out to express generosity.

13th century, Tibet, Manjushri, bronze, private collection, photo on Hardt

Instead, he may have both hands doing the ‘turning the wheel of dharma‘ gesture.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Koller, sale W249AS.

From the 13th century onwards White Manjushri is often depicted with the hilt of a sword emerging from another lotus, to his right. In such case, he is usually seated and his hands do the dharmacakra gesture.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt bronze with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Nagel, sale 736 China 3.

A singular sculpture of him seated at ease and  leaning on his right arm, the right hand holding the stem of a blue lotus that supports the hilt of a sword, the left hand holding a book at heart level.

Circa 14th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt copper alloy with gems and pigment, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

Vadisimha Manjushri, seated on a lion  with his legs locked, the hands turning the wheel of dharma, the lotuses that hold the hilt of a sword and a book fastened to his elbows.

11th century, Western Tibet, Manjushri, bronze, Indian artist commissioned by the Guge kingdom, photo by T. Pritzker, published by Ulrich von Schroeder in 108 Buddhist Statues in Tibet.

An early example of Manjushri standing and wielding a sword, holding the stem of a lotus in his left hand that may or may not have supported a book.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Manjushri, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Lempertz.

Both the arapachana and the sthiracakra forms of Manjushri sit in the vajra position, brandishing a sword in the right hand and holding a book in the other, close to the heart. No lotus. On paintings, the former is white and the latter is orange (saffron).

17th-18th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt copper alloy with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

A more common form, wielding a sword and holding a lotus that supports the manuscript.

13th century, Tibet, Manjuvajra, gilt copper repoussé, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

A figure with three heads and six hands, the main ones crossed over his heart palm inwards (no vajra sceptre or vajra bell visible), the upper ones holding a sword and a lotus, the middle ones holding a vajra sceptre and visvajra – not associated with Manjuvajra, who normally has a  bow and an arrow in two of his hands. He wears a helmet, princely jewellery, a scarf and long lower garment decorated with an incised motif, plus a plain one on top that stops at knee level.

15th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt metal with turquoise inlay, Sonam Gyaltsen and atelier, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources

Manjuvajra Manjushri with one head and four hands, the lower ones would have held a bow and an arrow, the others hold a blue lotus and a (missing) book.

Tibet, Manjushri with sword (8)

Circa 12th century, Western Tibet or Ladakh, Manjushri, brass, private collection, photo on Woolley and Wallis.

Dressed in a short dhoti with a stippled motif, Manjushri, standing, brandishes a sword and holds a blue lotus that supports his book.

12th-13th century, Tibet, Manjushri, copper alloy with silver and copper inlay, private collection, photo by Ravenel.

This sculpture is almost identical to a 12th-13th century brass statue of Manjushri seen in a previous post, but on this occasion the lower garment is decorated with silver and copper roundels in the Pala fashion, as well as a stippled lotus motif.

Copper inlay has also been used for his lips, the centre of the lotus, parts of his crown and parts of the book. His eyes are inlaid with silver.

11th century, Western Tibet, Manjushri, (copper alloy+silver inlaid eyes), private collection, photo on HAR

Seated on a lotus atop a plinth derived from a Kashmiri design, Manjushri holds a sword and the stem of a lotus that probably supported a book. His dhoti with a deeply engraved motif is typical of works made in the ancient kingdom of Guge. He is adorned with a spectacular crown, discreet jewellery, a brahmin’s thread and a (broken) garland.

11th-12th century, Western Tibet, Manjushri, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Brandishing a vajra-tipped sword and holding the stem of a blue lotus that supports the Prajnaparamita sutra, he is adorned with a three-point crown, floral earrings and beaded accessories. His lower garment is much shorter on the left side and decorated with incised stripes. Compare with 11th century Manjushri

Circa 13th century, Tibet, Manjushri, copper alloy, private collection, item 61934 on Himalayan Art Resources, photo by Bonhams,A rare image of Manjushri full of character with his stupa-like chignon, unusual accessories and almost invisible garment. He is seated on a lotus base with two rows of petals that don’t face each other. A tiny book is placed on the open lotus he holds in his left hand.

12th-13th century, Tibet, Manjushri, copper (alloy), at the Tibet Museum in Lhasa, photo by Petra Mueller on WHAV

17th century, Tibet, Manjushri, copper (alloy), same as before, photo by Verena Ziegler.

Tibet, peaceful Manjushri (2)

11th-12th century, Tibet, Manjushri, bronze with cold gold, private collection, photo on Olympia

Young Manjushri stands on a Pala-style lotus base and holds the stem of a blue lotus (utpala) topped with a book in his left hand, his right hand expresses supreme generosity.

14th-15th century?, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt metal with turquoise inlay, photo by Polyauction on HAR.

14th-15th century?, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt metal with turquoise inlay, photo by Dacang Auction on Himalayan Art Resources

Undated, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt metal+turquoise, private collection, item 74903 on Himalayan Art Resources.

14th-15th c., Tibet, Manjushri, gilt bronze, 14 cm, lab. Vajradhara, 13048 har, sale n09478 lot 707 Sotheby's.jpg

14th-15th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

15th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt bronze with stone inlay, private collection, photo on Bonhams 

15th century?, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt metal, private collection, photo and details on Himalayan Art Resources, item 8074.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt bronze with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Koller.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Nepalese artist, Manjushri, gilt copper alloy with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by 25 Blythe Road

16th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt bronze with stone inlay, cold gold and pigments possibly added later, private collection, photo on Nagel

17th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt copper with glass inlay, private collection, photo on Koller

18th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt bronze (with turquoise and coral inlay), private collection, photo on Christie’s

From the 15th century onwards, Tibetan metal sculptures of White Manjushri usually depict him seated with his legs locked, his hands doing the ‘turning the wheel of law’ gesture, two lotuses attached to his arms, to support the Prajnaparamita sutra to his left and the hilt of a sword to his right.

Tibet, Manjushri – various forms (4)

7th-8th c., Tibet, Manjushri, c.a.+traces gilding+blue pig., 19 cm, tenzingasianart.com

7th-8th century, Tibet, Newari artist, Manjushri, copper alloy with traces of gilding and blue pigment, private collection, photo on Tenzing Asian Art

This is an early form of White Manjushri, seated with his legs locked, his right hand held palm out, his left hand holding the Prajnaparamita sutra (or sometimes a conch shell) before him.

14th-15th century, Western Tibet, Manjushri, bronze with traces of blue pigment, private collection, photo by Marie-Catherine Daffos on aaoarts

A rare sculpture of him holding the stem of an utpala topped with a manuscript, and holding another manuscript in his right hand, held down with the palm facing upwards.

14th century, Tibet, Nepalese artist, Manjushri, gilt copper, private collection, photo on Marcel Nies

This time the hand is held with the palm downwards. The position of the fingers indicates that they once clutched an attribute, probably a book judging by the gap and the height at which the hand is held.

14th-15th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt copper with silver and turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Koller.

From the 13th century onwards, White Manjushri is often flanked by lotuses supporting a book to his left and the hilt of a sword to his right, his hands doing the ‘turning the wheel of dharma‘ gesture.

16th century, Central Tibet, Tsang province, Manjushri, gilt bronze (copper alloy) with silver and copper inlay, private collection, photo on Christie’s

Manjushri with flaming sword, seated with his legs locked, his left hand doing the teaching gesture, a blue lotus fastened to his arm to support the book.

16th century, Tibet, Manjushri, bronze (brass) with cold gold and pigments, private collection, photo on  Hollywood Galleries .

Manjushri with sword, standing and holding the stem of a lotus that supports a book topped with a flaming triple gem (triratna).

17th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt bronze, private collection, photo on Nagel

A late work, showing him sword in hand, the lotus that supports the book missing or not featured.

14th century, Tibet, Manjugosha (Manjuvajra), gilt bronze with stones, private collection, photo on Nagel 

14th-15th century, Tibet, Manjushri, Namasangiti, stone, private collection, photo  on  Christie’s

15th century, Tibet, Manjuvajra, copper alloy with gold, copper and silver inlay, private collection, photo by Andrew Lau for Hollywood Galleries.

Circa 16th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt copper, private collection, photo by Marie-Catherine Daffos for aaoarts as before.

The Manjuvajra form of Manjushri may have one head and four arms, in which case he often holds a bow and an arrow, a sword, and a manuscript at heart level. In Tibet, he may hold a lotus that supports the book, as on the first two images.

16th-17th century, Tibet or China, Simhanada Manjughosha (Manjushri), zitan wood (red cedar) with cold gold and pigments, private collection, photo on Christie’s

This form of Manjushri has no book. He sits on a snow lion, in the vajra position or with one leg pendent (as above), his hands doing the ‘turning the wheel of dharma‘ gesture. He may have a lotus to his left, with or without the hilt of a sword, and often has an effigy of Akshobhya in his crown (not shown here). On paintings, his body his golden yellow, hence the use of cold gold all over his skin.

18th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt copper repoussé, private collection, photo on Nagel

We have seen time and time again that late sculptures often depart from standard iconography. The rosary in this character’s top right hand and the gesture of salutation with his main hands are associated with a four-hand form of Avalokiteshvara, yet Manjushri is the only male bodhisattva who may hold a manuscript in one of his hands (Akashagarbha may have one on his left shoulder).