Tibet, Naro Khechara (7)

TWO POSTS TODAY:

This one and a page on hair styles (top left-hand column of this blog), enjoy!

16th century, Tibet, Vajrayogini, Naropa tradition, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

This aspect of Vajrayogini, with the form of a naked young woman standing on one or two victims, holds a flaying knife and a skull cup from which she is about to drink blood; a ritual staff leans against her left arm.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Vajrayogini, gilt bronze (copper alloy) and turquoise, private collection, photo by Art Curial.

She usually faces sideways, holding the flaying knife down near her right knee.

She has three eyes and bared fangs.

She wears her hair loose and may have a tiara with skulls and/or a half-vajra finial on her head.

18th century, Tibet, Sarvabuddhadakini, bronze (copper alloy) with cold gold and pigments, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

 

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Tibet, Vajravarahi (12)

Circa 13th century, Tibet, Vajravarahi, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Vajravarahi, standing on one foot atop a Pala-style pedestal, brandishing a flaying knife and holding a skull cup to her heart, her right knee supported by lotus shoots stemming from the pedestal…

dharma wheel ornament in her headdress.

13th century, Tibet?, Vajravarahi, copper alloy with turquoise and silver inlay, private collection, photo by Heritage auctions.

A variation, with the budding lotuses supporting her left knee.

Vajravarahi in Wrathful Posture , 13th century Central Tibet,
Copper alloy with turquoise, silver, and colors; H. 8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm); W. 4 1/4 in. (10.8 cm); D. 3 3/8 in. (8.6 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Zimmerman Family Collection, 2014 (2014.720.2)
http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/665922

A rare sculpture of the deity, her right knee supported by a peacock. Her hair is gathered in a bunch secured with a five-skull tiara and topped with a half-vajra finial, her eyes are inlaid with silver. She wears a garland of severed head and a small celestial scarf as well as the usual bone accessories.

13th-14th century, Tibet, Vasya Vajravarahi, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Koller.

Here the artist has used a long sash to secure the figure on each side plus a rod at the back. She stands on Kalaratri (who embodies the ego) and has a  ritual staff in the crook of her left arm.

14th-15th century, Tibet or Nepal, Vajravarahi, gilt copper alloy with stones, coral and pearls, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (USA).

Another Vajravarahi with a dharma wheel in her headdress.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Vajravarahi, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Cornette de St Cyr.

A rare example with the sow’s head on top of hers, itself topped with a finial. She wears a Nepalese-style bone apron with raining jewel pendants.

15th century, Tibet or Nepal, Vajravarahi, University of Michigan Museum of Art.

As pointed out by the museum, this figure holds a vajra sceptre instead of a flaying knife.

Undated (circa 15th century?), Tibet, Red Vajravarahi, gilt metal with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources.

Red Vajravarahi (with a red body on paintings) has an effigy of Vairochana in her headdress.

15th century, Tibet, Vajravarahi, bronze with pigments, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

We have already seen this elegant statue with red hair (it was labelled 13th century by a previous seller) and signs of lotus shoots or buds having supported her knees.

A view of the back shows a square copper plaque, probably there to seal a cavity into which prayer rolls or and/or other elements have been placed for consecration.

 

Tibet, Vajrayogini – variants (4)

13th century, Tibet, bronze, Vajrayogini, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Facing the viewer, Vajrayogini, with a dakini appearance, holds a flaying knife at head level and a skull cup before her heart. She stands with one foot on the pedestal and the other crushing the head of a prostrate victim. She is adorned with bone jewellery, a skull crown and a garland of severed heads.

16th century, Tibet, Vajrayogini, bronze, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

16th century, Tibet, Sarvabuddhadakini, bronze , private collection, published on on http://www.bumpercollection.org

In her Naro dakini/ Sarvabuddhadakini (etc.) aspect she is portrayed sideways and usually stands on two victims. She raises the skull cup to her mouth to drink the blood from it, while the flaying knife is held down, close to her right leg.

17th century, Tibet, possibly Vajravarahi, bronze, private collection, photo from the Werner Forman Archive.

Assuming that the shape that protrudes from her left temple is the head of a sow, we are looking at Vajravarahi, one of Vajrayogini’s forms (see the previous post).

18th century, Tibet, Vajrayogini Dechen Gyalmo, gilt copper alloy and stones, at the Art Institute of Chicago (USA).

Few sculptures show this form of Vajrayogini holding up a drum with her right hand and clutching a flaying knife in the other, against her hip. The above is adorned with a garland of flowers as well as the usual accessories.

 

Tibet, Vajravarahi (11)

Circa 14th century, Central Tibet, Vajravarahi, gilt copper alloy with pigments, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

This form of Vajrayogini – identified by the sow’s head sticking from her right temple – is usually depicted with a dakini appearance, in a dancing pose, with a skull cup in her left hand and a flaying knife (sometimes a sword) in the other. Instead of the habitual garland of severed heads, this magnificent example wears a garland of skulls.

She is adorned with a five-skull crown and princely jewellery inlaid with coral, turquoise and lapis lazuli (and possibly a few glass replacements).

Even her cross-belt and bone apron are inlaid with hard stones and coral.

Circa 15th century, Tibet, Vajravarahi, gilt silver, copper alloy repoussé shrine, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

A well-preserved portable shrine made to measure to keep a small statue (14 cm) of Vajravarahi, who holds the skull cup at knee level.

She wears unusual jewellery, including large hoops with a tendril at the bottom, a short festooned necklace, a long beaded one, large floral bracelets and matching armbands and anklets inlaid with clear gems (or glass).

Her festooned belt is inlaid with clear gems (or glass) and hard stones.

The shrine includes a double-lotus base and two doors decorated with skulls and scrolling vegetation.

15th century., Tibet, Vajravarahi, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Hollywood Galleries.

When the pedestal is intact, the deity often tramples a prostrate victim, particular large in this case.

18th century (or earlier?), Tibet, Vajravarahi, bronze, private collection, photo by Altair Auctions.

Reminiscent of early West Tibetan sculptures, this unusual work depicts her with a tiger skin loin cloth (the head of the animal showing at the front) and snake ornaments, neither of which are part of the dakini appearance – unlike the ritual staff propped against her left shoulder.

 

 

Tibet, Naro Khechara (6)

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

This form of Vajrayogini is always portrayed as a young woman, naked, looking sideways towards the skull cup filled with menstrual blood which she raises to her lips, holding a flaying knife in her right hand lowered down. She may be adorned with a skull crown and a bone apron and she treads on one or two victims.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Sarvabuddhadakini, bronze, private collection, published on http://www.bumpercollection.org.

She has long hair, combed back.

Mid 17th century, Tibet, Sarvabuddhadakini, gilt copper repoussé with cast hands, feet and head, private collection, published on http://www.bumpercollection.org

The head is tilted to drink the blood from the cup.

18th century circa, same as before.

The right hand is held palm outwards.

18th century circa, same as before.

In Tibet she is known under various names linked to Naropa (Naro Dakini, Naro Khechara, etc.)

Undated (18th century?), Tibet, Naro Khechara, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

She often wears a garland of fifty freshly severed heads. The above wears skulls instead, and Chinese-style jewellery and accessories including a cross-belt.

Tibet, Vajravarahi (10)

14th century, Tibet, Vajravarahi, gilt copper alloy with stone (and coral) inlay, private collection, photo by Bnohams.

Almost identical to a 14th century Tibetan sculpture published previously, Vajravarahi is identified through the sow’s head sticking out of her right temple. On this occasion, her earrings are inlaid with coral cabochons and her shorter necklace is studded with turquoise.

Same as before, photo by Christie’s.

The deity’s celestial scarf often forms a frame around her. She wears a five-skull crown, a garland of fifty freshly severed heads and bone ornaments, and holds a flaying knife, a skull cup, and a ritual staff in the crook of her left arm.

15th century, Central Tibet, Vajravarahi, copper alloy and pigments, at the Art Institute of Chicago (USA).

This dark bronze shows her with cold gold on the face and red pigment on the hair, her raised knee resting against a lotus stemming from the base on which there is no victim. Her belt is incised with a geometrical motif, the contours of the festoons and pendants are engraved rather than sculpted. The same technique has been applied to the seams of her lower garment.

Same, stone, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

A stone version, complete with flaming arch and lotus base, her left foot treading on Kalaratri, which represents the ego.

16th century, Tibet, Vajravarahi, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Werner Forman, formerly Philip Goldman collection, published on Werner Forman Archive.

On this work, the artist has used silver inlay for the rim of her crown, her hair ornament, belt, bracelets and anklets, and probably for her eyes and teeth.

17th century, Tibet, Vajravarahi, bronze (gilt copper alloy), same as before.

 

Tibet, Naro Khechara (5)

17th-18th century, Tibet, Sarvabuddha dakini, gilt copper alloy, private collection, published by Lemper

17th-18th century, Tibet, Sarvabuddha dakini, copper alloy, private collection, published by Lempertz.

A Chinese-style image of the Naro Khechara form of Vajrayogini, raising a skull cup filled with menstrual blood to her mouth, the flaying knife missing from her left hand, adorned with skull crown, bone ornaments, garland of severed heads, cross belt with dangling heads and a matching belt. There are traces of gilding on her face and crown.

Undated, Tibet, same as before, at the Beijing Museum (China).

Undated (16th-17th century?), Tibet, gilt metal, at the Beijing Museum (China).

A similar work, complete with Yongle-style single lotus pedestal.

Undated, Tibet, Sarvabuddha dakini, copper alloy, at the Musée Guimet in Paris (France).

Undated (19th century?), Tibet, Sarvabuddha dakini, copper alloy, at the Musée Guimet in Paris (France).

Her attributes are missing but her youth, nakedness, loose hair and the way she stands sideways with a hand raised to her mouth indicate that this is Naro Khechara.