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.

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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.

Tibet, peaceful Manjushri – seated (7)

14th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt copper alloy with turquoise and lapis lazuli inlay, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

Manjushri sits in the vajra position, his hands turning the wheel of dharma and holding the stem of two lotuses, the blue one (fan-shaped) to his left supporting a manuscript topped with a jewel (traditionally a pearl). This particular iconography of peaceful/White Manjushri seems to have been popular in Tibet from the 13th century onwards and often includes the hilt of a sword on the lotus to his right, as below.

14th-15th century, Tibet, Manjushri, copper alloy with silver and copper inlay, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

This remarkable sculpture depicts the deity with a long dhoti richly incised with a floral motif, a matching shawl over his shoulders…

and matching shin ornaments (as well as anklets).

He has silver-inlaid eyes and urna, copper-inlaid lips and dimples, large floral disc earrings, bulky armbands and bracelets that match the design on his crown. The lining of the shawl has an incised geometrical pattern.

14th-15th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt copper alloy, same as before.

Some early works show him with a helmet topped with a half-vajra finial. The above has a tall chignon with the same type of finial.

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

Manjushri often holds two different types of lotuses, including a blue one to his left to support the sacred text.

15th century, Tibet, Manjushri, copper alloy with traces of gilding and stones, same as before.

The hilt of the sword normally comes out of a white lotus and it has flames around it.

15th-16th century, Tibet, White Manjushri, U-Tsang province, gilt copper alloy with turquoise inlay, at the Liverpool Museum (UK).

A rare image of Manjushri, seated on a lotus complete with stalk and leaves, sprouting from a lotus base decorated with three elephants. He holds his left hand in the debate/teaching gesture, holding a pearl between forefinger and thumb and displaying another in the palm of his hand.

 

Tibet, White Manjushri – standing (2)

Undated (circa 11th century ?), Western Tibet, Manjushri, copper alloy with cold gold, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

This Kashmiri-style sculpture depicts the bodhisattva of wisdom standing on a lotus over a stepped plinth, holding a blue lotus topped with a manuscript, his right hand held out in the fear-allaying gesture.

The top of the flaming mandorla behind him is decorated with a stupa (normally associated with Maitreya), some ribbons, a lotus, a crescent moon+sun symbol.

12th century circa, Tibet or Northeast India, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Rossi & Rossi.

The exaggeratedly tall foliate panels of the crown (with a rod at the back to secure them), the short lower garment and the soft facial features suggest that this late Pala-style sculpture was made by an Indian artist in Tibet or India for a Tibetan patron. The overall gilding is unusual for the period, both in Northeast India and Tibet.

12th-13th century, Western Tibet, copper alloy with cold gold and blue pigment, private collection, photo by www.castor-hara.com.

This Manjushri wears a crown made of three crescent moons, with side bows and flowing ribbons, some jewellery including a large floral necklace and matching armbands, a festooned belt with a lotus bud pendant at the front. There is a non-identified object in the palm of his right hand. Apart from the blue lotus topped with a manuscript, his other attribute, when peaceful, is the hilt of a sword coming out of another lotus, to his right. (We have  seen one West Tibetan example, from the Ashmolean Museum, holding a conch).

Possibly 14th century, Western Tibet, Manjushri, copper alloy, private collection, published on http://www.buddhacollectors.com

Many early Tibetan sculptures are singular (possibly because the artist didn’t have an original sculpture to work from) some of them are even clumsy, like the above, inspired by Indian Pala art (style of the lotus pedestal, exaggeratedly tall chignon and low tiara, punched navel, long dhoti). The head,  lotus and book are oversized, as is often the case with works from Western Tibet.

15th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt copper alloy and turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Lempertz.

This later figure includes elements borrowed from Newari art (gilding all over, foliate crown with five panels including a simplified Kirtimukha design at the front, ear loops with a lotus sprouting from them, short lower garment with semi-circular sash knotted to the left, belt with long pendant at the front).

The blue lotus to his left supports the Prajnaparamita sutra and the hilt of a sword.

17th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay and pigments, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This Manjushri with Chinese-style facial features wears a long skirt-like embroidered silk garment held in place with a festooned belt, a long celestial scarf with fluttering ends, princely jewellery studded with turquoise and clear gems, like his belt. He does the ‘turning the wheel of dharma‘  gesture and holds the stem of a blue lotus supporting a tiny manuscript and the flaming hilt of a rather large sword.