Tibet, various bodhisattvas (2)

16th century, (Southern) Central Tibet, Tsang district, Akashagarbha, gilt bronze with silver and copper inlay, private collection, photo on Christie’s

Akashagarbha showers jewels with his right hand and holds a triratna in the other.

18th century, Tibet, Suryabhaskara, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

Suryabhaskara is one of Bhaisajyaguru’s attendants. He holds the stem of a lotus that supports a book and a sun disc in his right hand while his left hand is on his hip.

18th century, Tibet, Samantabhadra, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Cambi Casa d’Aste.

Mainly seen on paintings, Samantabhadra is depicted in various ways. In China and on Chinese-style works he rides an elephant. The flaying knife is one of his attributes.

15th century, Tibet, bodhisattva, (labelled ‘Padmapani’), silver alloy with traces of gilding, gilt metal pedestal, private collection, photo by Andrew Lau for Hollywood Galleries

This bodhisattva wears a long transparent garment and a belt with a single lotus bud pendant at the front. His right hand does the teaching gesture, normally associated with Maitreya (tip of the forefinger on tip of the thumb), and as the front leaf of his crown is missing we don’t know if there was an effigy of Amitabha or a stupa on it. If this is Padmapani (Avalokiteshvara), his left hand once held the stem of a lotus.

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Tibet, a few triads (3)

11th century, Western Tibet, triad, metal alloy (copper alloy with cold gold and pigments), at the Namgyal monastery in Mustang, published by Christian Luczanits in Portable Heritage in the Himalayas here.

The central figure is the historical buddha, Shakyamuni, crowned and holding a piece of his robe in his left hand. To his right, Avalokiteshvara, holding the stem of a lotus; to his left, Vajrapani (see below).

He holds a vajra sceptre horizontally before his chest and presses a bell against his left hip. The flaming arch behind him is topped with a stupa.

12th century, Western Tibet, triad, brass with cold gold and pigments, is or was at the Lima Lakhang in Lhasa (Tibet), published by Ulrich von Schroeder, photo with details on https://www.himalayanart.org/items/30220.

Avalokiteshvara, taller and holding a lotus, flanked by two goddesses identified as Tara and Bhrikuti, standing on separate lotuses atop a stepped throne decorated with two seated figures (one of them wearing a coat of mail), a precious horse, a precious elephant and various symbols.

At the top, the five wisdom buddhas are seated among scrolling vegetation.

Unlabelled (Western Tibet?, triad, copper alloy with cold gold and pigments), at the Museum der Kulturen in Basel (Switzerland), photo on https://www.himalayanart.org/items/3314723

Avalokiteshvara at the centre, holding an open lotus and a pot of water by the neck (in the manner of Gandharan art); Manjushri to his right, wielding a sword and holding a lotus topped with the Prajnaparamita sutra; Vajrapani on the other side, holding a vajra sceptre upright before his heart and a bell by his left side.

12th century, Western Tibet, triad, bronze (brass), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Here we have Manjushri at the centre, wielding a sword and holding a blue lotus topped with a book, flanked by two rather bosomy bodhisattvas, identified as Vajrapani to his right, holding a vajra sceptre and bell, and Avalokiteshvara on the other side, holding a water pot and a lotus. The chased and stippled decoration on the sword, the pedestal, the dhotis and the jewellery is typical of a corpus of brass works attributed to Western Tibet, and more specifically the Ngari area, around the 12th century.

Tibet, unidentified bodhisattvas (10)

Unlabelled (circa 10th century?, bodhisattva, gilt metal with stone inlay), private collection, item 20405 and 20251 on Himalayan Art Resources .

This bodhisattva, who displays supreme generosity with his right hand and may have held an attribute in the other, wears a remarkable crown with a foliate design almost identical to the drawing after Niels Gutschow published by Yuri Kokhlov here)

Undated, (13th-16th century), Tibet, Ngari ,Tholing, bodhisattvas, clay, photo by E. Gershi, 1933, published on tugraz

Four of a set of bodhisattvas such as those we saw in various Vairocana mandalas in Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh.

Unlabelled (10th or 11th century, Western Tibet or Western Himalayas, brass with cold gold), private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources item 90064.

Very similar in style to a couple of brass figures seen in previous posts, this bodhisattva holds a triple gem (triratna).

Circa 12th century, Western Tibet, bodhisattva, copper alloy, private collection, photo Sanjay Kapoor

12th century, Tibet, bodhisattva, copper alloy with copper-inlaid lips, private collection, photo on Bonhams

The antelope over his left shoulder, the lotus in his left hand and the gesture of generosity he makes with his right hand correspond to both Avalokiteshvara and Maitreya.

The stippled lotus (rather than wheel) in his hand and the fact that his sash is knotted on his right hand side suggest that we are looking at Avalokiteshvara.

Undated (circa 15th century), Tibet, bodhisattva?, gilt metal with stone inlay, private collection, photo on HAR

A Densatil-style seated figure doing the gesture of generosity with his right hand and the fear-allaying gesture with the other.

Undated (circa 15th century), Tibet, bodhisattva?, gilt metal with stone inlay, private collection, item 10704 on Himalayan Art Resources.

In the same style, a four-handed entity with a stalk in his main hands and a water pot in his lower left hand.

16th century, Tibet, bodhisattva, gilt copper alloy with cold gold and silver and stone inlay, private collection, photo on Koller

This hand gesture is often displayed by Maitreya but there is no stupa or water pot to identify him as such. His jewellery and dhoti are decorated with silver beading.

His accessories are inlaid with lapis lazuli, turquoise and carnelian.

15th century, Tibet, bodhisattva, gilt metal with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Nagel .

The left hand does the fear-allaying gesture, the right hand displays supreme generosity and has a diamond incised on its palm. Two standing and four seated multi-armed figures in scrolls of vegetation accompany him.

18th century, Tibet, bodhisattva, wood, private collection, photo on Nagel

Here, it is the left hand that displays supreme generosity while the other does the gesture of debate/discussion.

Tibet, unidentified bodhisattvas (9)

Date uncertain (labelled 8th century, Yarlung Dynasty), Tibet, Bodhisattva, gilt copper alloy with silver, turquoise and ruby inlay, Yury Khokhlov collection and photo, published in an article on http://www.asianart.com

This Nepalese-style figure does a refuge-bestowing gesture with his left hand (tip of ring finger against tip of thumb) and expresses supreme generosity with the other. We saw  a Nepalese 10th-11th century Avalokiteshvara with very similar earrings and armbands but here the crown and necklace are quite singular.

A rear view of the statue shows that neither the sash holding the dhoti nor the necklace or sacred cord are showing yet the garment is incised throughout with a lotus motif.

11th-12th century, Tibet, bodhisattva, copper with cold gold and pigments, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s, published by Yury Khokhlov in the above-mentioned article.

Another Nepalese-style figure with the right hand held palm out, the other seems to have held an object, possibly the stem of a lotus (which would point to Avalokiteshvara).

We will note the matted hair piled up in the Indian fashion and the way the sash at the back goes around the left leg only.

15th c., Tibet, bodhisattva, gilt bronze+stones, 2 lotuses, Sotheby's

15th century, Tibet, bodhisattva, gilt bronze (copper alloy) with stone (and coral) inlay, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

This character, possibly Avalokiteshvara, is seated at royal ease, leaning on his left arm, the hand holding the (broken) stem of a lotus, the right hand doing the teaching gesture and also holding the stem of an open lotus. He wears a long dhoti  decorated with a lotus, rice grain and scrolls pattern, and is adorned with bulky jewellery inlaid with turquoise, lapis lazuli and coral.

There is a singular urna on his forehead that looks more like the original lock of hair of the historical buddha than the subsequent standard geometrical shapes.

17th century, Tibet, bodhisattva, copper alloy possibly lacquered, private collection, photo by The Buddha Gallery.

This figure appears to be doing the ‘turning the wheel of dharma‘ gesture associated with Maitreya and, to a lesser extent Manjushri and Avalokiteshvara.

18th century, Tibet, bodhisattva, gilt bronze (copper alloy) with pigment, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This elegant and intriguing figure with a visvajra at the front of his crown holds what is described as a sheaf of wheat but is more likely to be ‘finger millet’, also grown in the Himalayas.

Undated (labelled 14th-18th century), Tibet, bodhisattva, bronze, private collection, published on http://www.buddhist-art.info

Tibet, unidentified bodhisattva (8)

Early 16th century, Tibet, bodhisattva (or Akshobhya?), gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Seated in the vajra position, his left hand in the meditation gesture, the other calling earth to witness, adorned with princely jewellery and crown, the iconography corresponds to Askhobhya (in his bodhisattva appearance), who would have a vajra sceptre in one of his hands when it is not sculpted or engraved on the lotus base.

17th-18th c., Tibet, bodhisattva, lalisatana pose, varada+jnana mudra, sotheby's

17th-18th century, Tibet, bodhisattva, gilt metal private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

This more modern figure with no crown does the gesture of knowledge with his left hand while the other displays generosity.

18th century, Tibet, bodhisattva, brass, at the British Museum in London (UK).

The blue lotus to his right is not enough to identify this deity, whose left hand does a gesture to ward off evil (karana mudra) but in the manner of wrathful deities when they hold a lasso (which is then a threatening gesture).

Same as before, gilt wood, at the British Museum in London (UK).

Tibet, unidentified bodhisattvas (7)

Circa 16th century, Tibet, bodhisattva, polychrome wood, private collection, published on http://www.asianart.com.

The passing of time is particularly harsh on wooden sculptures…

16th or early 17th century, Tibet, bodhisattva, wood and pigment, at Musée Guimet (Paris).

This mixed-style figure wears a richly decorated knee-length dhoti, a matching shawl forming an angular loop at elbow level and a sash knotted to one side.

17th-18th c., Tibet, Bodhisattva, wood+gilding, 22,5 cm, Lempertz

17th-18th century, Tibet, bodhisattva, gilt wood, private collection, photo by Lempertz.

A similar image, also doing the teaching gesture with the right hand.

17th century, Tibet, bodhisattva, white sandalwood, made by the tenth karmapa, at the Fondation Alain Bordier in Gruyère (Switzerland).

This character holds a water pot and a flower. He is accompanied by kneeling figures (devotees or donors).

 

Tibet, unidentified bodhisattvas (6)

15th century, Tibet, bodhisattva, copper alloy, possibly Padmapani (Avalokiteshvara), private collection, photo by Bonhams.

This bodhisattva, who displays the gesture of generosity with the left hand and  teaching/debate with the other, wears the same type of lower garment and belt as a 13th-14th century Maitreya from the Pacific Asia Museum published in a previous post (see below).

We have seen other examples of two-tier (and even three-tier) garments on Tibetan sculptures (dated 15th and 16th century) but the design of the belt is singular.

16th century, Tibet, bodhisattva, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Koller.

This could be Kshitigarbha, his right hand doing the gesture of supreme generosity while the other is dispelling fear and holding the stem of a lotus topped with three gems (triratna), although he is normally associated with a single jewel or flaming pearl, either held in the left hand or placed on a lotus next to him.

Circa 16th century, same as before, photo by Christie’s.

This smiling figure holds a round attribute inlaid with gems in both hands.