Tibet, Amitayus – bodhisattva appearance (10)

18th century, Tibet, Amitabha (Amitayus), gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Ethnologica, published on http://www.asianart.com

His vase of longevity is missing but the position of the hands together with a bodhisattva appearance identifies him as Amitayus. He wears a low five-leaf crown, beaded jewellery, a lower garment worn loosely and decorated with an incised border. We saw a top knot on a Chinese-style Amitayus recently, this one has a double top knot.

18th century, Tibet, Amitabha (Amitayus), gilt copper and stones, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

A curiously disproportionate figure, with large shoulders that recall Mongolian works and an elongated torso that was fashionable in Tibet around the 17th century, adorned with a large necklace shaped like a breastplate.

Again, his hair arrangement includes a top knot, complemented by a flaming jewel finial.

Labelled 14th century, Tibet, Amitayus, copper alloy with cold gold and pigments, at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

The body shape and proportions of this figure, the shape of the fluttering scarf and the design of the jewellery are normally associated with the 18th century. The deity is seated on an embroidered cushion with Kirtimukha at the front, on a throne supported by two lions and ritual vases, decorated with a couple of figures at the front: one half kneeling and half crouching and brandishing a sword (possibly a form of Achala?) and the other seated.

Same as before, copper alloy, at the National Gallery in Prague (Czech Republic).

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Tibet, Amitayus – bodhisattva appearance (9)

16th century, Tibet, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy with turquoise and pigments, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

This Chinese-style figure with a loosely draped garment and shawl is seated on a lotus base with curly petals inspired by the Yongle period.

Amitayus’s hair is unusually tied  and topped with a flaming jewel. His crown is made of foliate panels with a kirtimukha design at the front – we can see the hands of the mythical creature holding the vegetation coming out of its mouth. There is a lock of hair (urna) on the buddha’s forehead.

Same as before, photo by Sotheby’s.

This Amitayus  has an effigy of Amitabha (buddha appearance, holding a bowl) on top of his chignon.

16th century, Tibet, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy, photo by Bonhams.

The lower garment here is decorated with double beading and an engraved floral pattern.

18th century, same as before, photo by Lempertz.

A more recent statue, with preserved (or replaced) coral and turquoise inlay for the foliate crown and matching accessories.

Tibet, Amitayus – bodhisattva appearance (8)

Circa 13th century, Tibet, Amitabha (Amitayus), copper alloy with silver and copper inlay, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

This remarkable and exceptionally harmonious sculpture  of the dhyani buddha includes silver-inlaid eyes, copper-inlaid lips, thumb nails and accessories, stone-inlaid jewellery (most cabochons now missing). His tall Pala-style crown is decorated with rosettes and flowing ribbons and secured with rods. The intricate scrolling vegetation on each side of him is a rare feature, although we have seen one 14th century Tibetan Amitayus with almost the same design. We will notice the double-lotus base with two rows of small beading at the top and a single row of large beading at the bottom, and slightly elongated plump petals with a round edge often seen on sculptures dated circa 13th century.

Circa 14th century, Tibet, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Amitayus occasionally has a half vajra finial on his chignon.

The above is adorned with beaded jewellery inlaid with small stones, and wears a transparent dhoti  whose double hem is decorated with beading and an incised rice grain pattern.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Amitayus, gilt bronze, private collection, published on carters.com.au

This work also depicts him with a vajra finial. A view of the inside shows how the hollow part is filled with scrolls and possibly other ritual objects. This topic will be discussed in the near future.

15th century, Tibet (labelled Nepal), Amitayus, bronze with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

On paintings, Amitabha and Amitayus (two aspects of the same deity) have a different-colour skin. With sculptures, and although we have seen exceptions, the generally accepted norm is that Amitabha has a buddha appearance and holds a bowl while Amitayus has a bodhisattva appearance  and holds a vase of longevity in his hands.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Gallery Hioco.

Whatever the appearance, the long-life vase belongs to Amitayus.

Tibet, Amitayus – bodhisattva appearance (8)

14th century, Western Tibet, Amitayus, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Nagel auctions.

14th century, Western Tibet, Amitayus, copper alloy with traces of gilding and lacquer, private collection, photo by Nagel auctions.

A classic from Western Tibet, with soft facial features, downcast eyes and a slight smile, harmonious body proportions and excellent craftsmanship.

15th century, Tibet, Amitayus, copper alloy with stone inlay and pigments, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

15th century, Tibet, Amitayus, copper alloy with stone inlay and pigments, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Seated on an Indian-style lotus base, this Amitayus wears a serrated shawl over his shoulders and a celestial scarf placed like an arch around him. His face is painted with cold gold, his hair dyed with blue pigment, the chignon topped with a lotus and flaming jewel.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Amitayus, copper alloy with silver and copper inlay, at the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg (Russia).

17th-18th century, Tibet, Amitayus, copper alloy with silver and copper inlay, at the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg (Russia).

This is a curious mixture of styles. The throne, facial features and necklace recall Chinese works, the long dhoti with silver and copper-inlaid dots imitates Indian works from the Pala period, the design of the crown and the use of an arch with mythical creatures and a garuda at the top are typical of Nepal (Malla period).

17th-18th century, Tibet, Amitayus (labelled Amitabha), copper alloy, photo by 'Between the lotus and the flame'.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Amitayus (labelled Amitabha), copper alloy, photo by ‘Between the lotus and the flame’.

A recent post was devoted to this type of 17th century circa Tibetan (and some Tibeto-Chinese) sculptures seated on a cushion, wearing a sash, and a large hair ornament instead of a crown – a revival of a much earlier Nepalese style.

 

Tibet, Amitayus – bodhisattva appearance (7)

16th century, Tibet, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy and glass inlay, private collection, photo by Koller.

16th century, Tibet, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy and glass inlay, private collection, photo by Koller.

Thought to have been made by a Nepalese artist, this Amitayus wears a low crown and princely jewellery inlaid with medium-size glass cabochons imitating coral and turquoise. His armbands, shin ornaments and shorter necklace have a triple-gem design (triratna).

17th century circa, Tibet, Amitayus, gilt copper with turquoise inlay, private collection, published on en-seercn.com

17th century circa, Tibet, Amitayus, gilt copper with turquoise inlay, private collection, published on en.seercn.com

A mixed-style figure with a two-piece flaming mandorla, large floral disc earrings and matching crown, necklaces and armbands showing just below his shawl, a flaming jewel on top of his chignon, the design of his anklets matching that of his bracelets.

17th century, same as before, photo by Sotheby's.

17th century, same as before, photo by Sotheby’s.

This one wears a celestial scarf with loops at elbow level and a dhoti with an incised border. The large flower at the front of his crown matches his earrings.

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

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

The longer necklace of this buddha has unusual beaded pendants inlaid with stones.

Same as before, published on hara-castor.com.

Same as before, published on castor-hara.com.

This above wears a dhoti richly incised with a floral motif, no anklets.

17th century, Tibet, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy with glass inlay and pigment, private collection, photo by Koller.

17th century, Tibet, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy with glass inlay and pigment, private collection, photo by Koller.

Tibet, Amitayus – bodhisattva appearance (6)

15th century, Tibet, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay and pigments, private collection.

15th century, Tibet, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay and pigments, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

This masterpiece depicts Amitayus holding his long-life vase, bedecked with turquoise-inlaid accessories including foliate armbands and matching bracelets, three necklaces, large floral earrings with pendants, a five-leaf crown with flowing ribbons and rosettes, anklets and a belt. But for a few loose strands over his shoulders, his plaited hair is piled into a tall chignon topped with a lotus and jewel finial. His lower garment, loosely gathered over his legs, is decorated with an incised floral pattern.

Same as before, photo by Christie's.

Same as before, photo by Christie’s.

On this equally remarkable work, the dhyani buddha wears a V-shaped garment over his shoulders and breast, and an elaborate beaded belt or apron.

15th-c-tibet-amitayus-gilt-c-a-turq-43-cm-dhoticape-face-paris-christies

The face of a mythical creature, presumably Kirtimukha, can be seen at the the bottom of the central panel of his crown.

15th-c-tibet-amitayus-gilt-c-a-turq-43-cm-dhoticape-detail-paris-christies

The rim of the lotus pedestal and the hem of his garments are decorated with an incised floral pattern.

Same as before.

16th century, same as before.

On this later version, Amitayus wears a scarf over his shoulders and round his arms.

Same as before.

Same as before.

Another image with three necklaces, large foliate armbands and matching bracelets, an elaborate belt/apron with stone-inlaid pendants that rest over the dhoti. His scarf forms a loop at elbow level. This feature, of Chinese origin, can be seen on 16th century works and seems to have gained popularity during the 17th century.

16th-c-tibet-amitayus-gilt-c-a-stones-21-cm-chinese-style-kirtimukha

Kirtimukha, with vegetation coming out of its mouth, is clearly recognizable at the front of his crown.

Same as before.

16th century, Tibet, gilt copper and stone inlay, same as before.

A Nepalese-style work, with a shortish dhoti that shows shin ornaments (but no anklets) and jewellery inlaid with a variety of medium-size stones.

Same as before

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

Here, on the contrary, Amitayus wears a long dhoti loosely draped in the Chinese fashion, decorated with a floral motif and an incised hem.

Tibet, Amitayus – bodhisattva appearance (5)

13th-14th century, Tibet, Amitayus, copper alloy, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

13th-14th century, Tibet, Amitayus, copper alloy, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

The dhyani buddha is seated on a Thakuri-style lotus base, his hands in the meditation gesture to hold a vase of longevity, his face painted with cold gold, wearing a broad sash across his chest, adorned with a low crown and jewellery.

Labelled 16th, Central Tibet, Tsang province, Amitabha, brass, at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art (USA).

Labelled 16th, Central Tibet, Tsang province, Amitabha, brass, at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art (USA).

The above wears a tall three-leaf crown with a beaded rim, a foliate chignon adornment,  a knee-length dhoti with a beaded hem, matching bracelets and anklets, a short necklace with five leaf pendants and a beaded one that would normally be longer and form a U shape. The style of the double lotus base corresponds to the 14th century circa. We will notice his fleshy toes.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Lempertz.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Lempertz.

This richly gilt and stone-inlaid work successfully marries the Tibetan, Nepalese and Chinese elements. His dhoti is incised with a floral motif. he wears three necklaces inlaid with turquoise and matching armbands, bracelets and anklets.

16th century, Tibet, gilt copper and stone inlay, is or was in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

16th century, Tibet, gilt copper with stone inlay (and possibly coral or glass), is or was in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

Like most sculptures from the Lhasa area, this one has cold gold and pigments on his face and painted hair, which may have been added at a much later date. He wears a striped dhoti with an incised pattern and a thin matching scarf across his chest and shoulders. We saw this unusual feature recently on a sculpture of Amitayus dated to the 15th.

16th century, Tibet, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy, cold gold, pigments, gems and glass inlay, private collection, photo by Koller.

16th century, Tibet, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy, cold gold, pigments, gems and glass inlay, private collection, photo by Koller.