Tibet, Marpa Chokyi Lodrö (3)

Undated, Tibet, lama, brass with silver and copper inlay, photo on Auction ArtAn elderly Marpa, seated at ease on a cushion covered with a blanket, his thick hair combed back, his clothes covering both arms (indicating that he was a layman, not a monk) and decorated with silver and copper roundels and silver-beaded seams.

16th century, Tibet, Marpa Chokyi Lodro, stone (with cold gold and pigments), photo by Hanhai Auction on HAR .

Few sculptures depict him as a younger man. The above has a moustache and wears earrings. His is seated on a small cushion atop a plinth decorated with a gilt motif and gems. He wears an unusual open-breast garment on top of his gown and a meditation cloak over his shoulders.

17th century, Tibet, Marpa, silver, private collection, photo on Artkhade

This famous Tibetan teacher (lama) and translator (lotsawa) is often shown frowning and with both hands over his knees.

Undated, Tibet Marpa Chokyi Lodro, metal (brass), private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources See biographical notes on HAR and on Treasury of Lives

 

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Tibet, various hierarchs (2)

12th century or later, Tibet, Karmapa 1, Düsum Khyenpa, bronze, private collection, photo on Hardt .

A portrait of the first karmapa, Düsum Khyenpa, in full monastic attire, his right hand calling Earth to witness, the left hand held in the meditation gesture, his eyes inlaid with silver, his lips and the hem and seams of his garment inlaid with copper, in the style of 13th and 14th century Tibetan sculptures (defined as ‘Monastic Period’ works on Himalayan Art Resources) but with different body proportions, a larger lotus base with copper beading on the rim, and a plain hat. The same item is labelled ’14th century, Sino-Tibetan’ on Leclère .

16th-17th century, Tibet, Karmapa 1, Düsum Khyenpa, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Christie’s.The same personage, his right hand doing the gesture of debate/teaching, the other supporting a (missing) book, dressed in silk garments with an embroidered border.

16th century, Tibet, karmapa, gilt metal with cold gold and pigments, private collection, photo on  HAR  

A non-identified karmapa, wearing the traditional black lotus hat with a visvajra symbol at the front and a crescent moon-and-sun disc symbol above it (barely visible here).

16th century, Tibet, karmapa, gilt metal, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources

A singular sculpture of a hierarch seated on a throne with both legs pendent, his feet placed on a lotus platform attached to the base, holding the stem of lotuses. The crescent moon-and-sun disc symbol is at the front of his hat, there may be a visvajra above.

Unlabelled (15th or 16th century, Tibet, lama, copper alloy with silver eyes and copper lips), Tsang province, photo on Himalayan Art Resources

A rare image of a hierarch with a large urna (the stone now missing), holding a long-life vase in his left hand. His lotus hat is decorated with a sun-and-moon symbol at the front and topped with a half-vajra finial.

Tibet, various lamas (12)

15th century, Tibet, lama, bronze (brass) with silver eyes, private collection, photo on Hardt 

This smiling character with a long-life vase in his left hand is seated on two brocaded cushions with unusually large chased motifs (clouds and flowers), covered with a thick blanket. His lower garment is held in place with a very ornate cummerbund.

Undated (circa 14th century?), Tibet, lama, bronze (brass with silver-inlaid eyes), private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources

An early sculpture of a lama seated on a cushion atop a stepped throne decorated with beading and stippled motifs. He wears coarse garments with a stippled lotus print and geometrical incisions, his right foot showing from under the meditation cloak.

Undated, Tibet, lama, bronze (brass with silver and copper inlay), private collection, photo on HAR 

Two blankets on two plainer cushions for this elderly master. The artist has given him a life-like appearance and used silver for the eyes, copper for the lips and the hat. His silk garments are decorated with chased floral and cloud motifs.

16th-17th century, Tibet, lama, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

A realistic portrait of an elderly teacher in full monastic garb richly incised with a floral pattern, his left hand over the knee, the right hand doing the gesture of debate/teaching. From the late 16th century onwards it is not uncommon for the outer robe to be gathered on the left side of the body, revealing the undergarment tied under the breast. Other date indicators are the way the meditation cloak is arranged like the petals of a flower covering the top of the lotus base, and the large upward-going petals of the said base.

15th c. Tibet, lama (labelled ‘monk’), bronze with turquoise (and coral) inlay, private collection, photo on Cambiaste

The mahasiddha appearance coupled with the Tibetan monastic garb and the long-life vase in his left hand suggests this personage was a teacher (lama).

15th-16th century, Tibet, lama in cave, stone, private collection, photo on Hardt 

Seated in a yogic pose, his long hair gathered in a topknot, this tantric master only wears his meditation cloak around his legs and a piece of cloth around his arms.

 

17th century, Tibet, lama, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Nagel, sale 103 China 2.

This younger man with elongated limbs and torso is dressed in Chinese silks that cover the cushion under him.

Undated, Eastern Tibet, guru, bronze, private collection?, photo on gg-art  

An elderly lama with an oversized head, holding a rosary between his delicately cast hands.

The chased floral pattern all over his cloak recalls a particular group of 15th-16th century brass works made in the Tsang province of Southern Central Tibet but the patched robe with a rice grain border and the petals on the lotus base are of a different style. The inscription at the front looks like a late addition.

Tibet, famous lamas (18)

First half of the 16th century, Tibet, Seton Kunrig, gilt copper repoussé with cold gold and pigments, is or was at the Mindrolling monastery, photo on HAR 

Part of the lamdre masters collection at the said monastery, this vivid portrait depicts the teacher in layman’s attire (both arms covered), some strands of long black hair falling over his shoulders, his hands held as if to support an implement.

Circa 15th century, Tibet, Seton Kunrig, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams, Portraits of the Masters 

An elderly Seton Kunrig, dressed in Chinese silk garments embroidered all over with a floral pattern, his right hand doing an unusual gesture, possibly a variant of the karana mudra (to ward off evil), the other expressing meditation.

First half of the 16th century, Tibet, Phagpa Lodro Gyaltsen, gilt copper repoussé, is or was at the Mindroling monastery, photo on HAR 

Phapga Lodro Gyaltsen depicted like the historical buddha, calling Earth to witness while holding a begging bowl in his left hand.

Circa 15th century, Tibet, Sanggye Pel, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.Also known as Buddhashri, Sanggye Pel is seen here seated at ease and holding a manuscript in his left hand.

Circa 15th century, Tibet, Palden Sultrim, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Seated in the vajra position, this 14th century teacher does the ‘turning the wheel of dharma’ gesture with his hands.

Circa 15th century, Tibet, Naza Dragpupa, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Naza Dragpupa Sonam Pel (1277-1346 approx.) has both hands in the meditation gesture as if to hold a bowl or a vase.

15th century, Tibet, Sengge Gyaltsen, metal (brass?), at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York (USA) photo on HAR.

A rare sculpture of a teacher with a patched robe incised throughout with a floral motif, and a lama engraved at the top of his vest (see close up ), seated on a lotus base with plump curly inner petals and a plinth engraved with lantsa script.

16th century, Tibet, Sonam Gyaltsen, gilt metal, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources 

Circa 16th century, Tibet, Kunga Peljor, gilt bronze with cold gold and pigments, private collection, photo on Van Ham 

15th century, Tibet, Wuze Rinchen, gilt bronze with cold gold and pigments, private collection, photo by Andrew Lau for Hollywood Galleries 

Tibet, Jigten Sumgon (Rinchen Pel)

13th century, Tibet, Jigten Sumgon, copper alloy with cold gold, private collection, photo by Andre Lau for Hollywood Galleries .

A brass sculpture of the founder of the Drigung Kagyu school in full monastic attire, one of his bare feet uncovered, his right hand calling Earth to witness, the other held in the meditation gesture, like the historical buddha.

13th century, Tibet, Jigten Sumgon, gilt copper alloy, photo by Bruce M. White, at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York (USA).

Quite a different style, with gilding yet wearing patched garments.

13th century, Tibet, Jigten Sumgon, copper alloy with cold gold, at the Musée Guimet in Paris (France) photo by P. Pleynet, published on issuu

Seated in the same pose, on a stepped lion throne with stone-inlaid visvajras at the top and on the plinth, its backplate or prabhamandala decorated with viyalas, makaras and a garuda at the top…

… a vajra sceptre placed before him on the lotus base.

13th century, Tibet, Jigten Sumgon, gilt copper with cold gold, turquoise, lapis lazuli, glass, is or was at Lhasa (Tibet), published by Ulrich von Schroeder, photo on issuu.

This type of throne seems to have been particularly popular in Tibet during the 13th century to give prestige to famous lamas.

Tibet, mahasiddhas – unidentified (8)

15th century, Tibet, Mahasiddha, gilt copper, private collection, published on Artkhade.

Mahasiddhas nearly always have their hair fastened in a topknot. They occasionally wear it loose over their shoulders or piled up on their head. Seen from the front, this man has short curly hair (which may be long at the back). The wide gaze and the cross-belt indicate that he was a yogi.

16th century, Tibet, Mahasiddha, gilt metal, private collection, item 203934 on HAR.

Seated in a relaxed posture, the above leans on his left arm and holds a skull cup filled with blood in the other. He is adorned with a floral tiara and bone ornaments including the traditional cross-belt with a large flower at the centre.

18th century, Tibet, Mahasiddha, painted clay, private collection, photo by  Galerie Zacke

An elderly man seated on the skin of an antelope (identified by the hooves) and wearing a long garment. He holds a vase of longevity against his chest and may have had another attribute in his left hand.

Tibet, Virupa – variants (5)

13th century, Tibet or China, Mahasiddha Virupa, metal (with cold gold and pigments), at the Lima Lakhang of the Potala in Lhasa (Tibet), inv. 1573, Nepalese artist, published by Ulrich von Schroeder, 1994.

The Indian master raises his left hand to stop the course of the Sun while holding a skull cup in the other. His raised knee is held in place with a meditation strap, his right elbow leans on an element built in the arch. A female attendant offers him a bowl (of food, presumably). His hair is adorned with a floral tiara, an anti-caste symbol.

Undated (circa 16th century?), Tibet?, Indian adept Virupa, (copper alloy), private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources

Raising his right hand towards the Sun and holding a skull cup in the other hand, his right leg pendant, the knee loosely held by a meditation strap, the foot placed on a lotus sprouting from the plinth of the lotus base, which is covered with an antelope skin. He wears a garland of flowers and matching accessories, his topknot is decorated with a half vajra finial. There is a large vessel next to him.

Indian adept Virupa, (16th century?, Tibet?), metal (gilt copper or copper alloy with stone inlay), private collection, photo on HAR

Leaning on his right arm, his legs not quite locked, the left arm pointing to the Sun, a ritual vase topped with a skull cup placed before him. He is adorned with large hoops, a floral tiara, bone jewellery inlaid with turquoise, a cross-belt; his hair is rolled in a top knot decorated with a floral finial. The animal skin on the seat seems to have (tiger or leopard) claws rather than hooves.

16th century, Tibet, Indian adept Virupa, metal (copper alloy with a high copper content), private collection, photo on HAR 

A particularly ornate image of the mahasiddha seated in the royal ease position, no meditation belt or animal skin, adorned with large floral earrings, matching garland and cross-belt, princely jewellery and festooned belt, a manuscript secured in his topknot.

16th century, Tibet, Indian adept Virupa, gilt metal, private collection, photo on HAR

A rare example of him displaying a pill between thumb and forefinger. He is seated on an antelope skin with his feet crossed, adorned with large floral and princely accessories, a manuscript tucked into his topknot.

16th century, Tibet, Mahasiddha Virupa, gilt metal, at the Chhatrapati Shivaij Museum in Mumbai (India), photo on HAR

Seated on an antelope skin, ‘turning the wheel of dharma‘ with his hands.