Tibet, karmapas (5)

16th century, Tibet, karmapa, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Nagel.

The double thunderbolt sceptre (visvajra) at the front of his hat identifies this lama as one of the past karmapas (head of the Karma Kagyu school of buddhism).

16th-17th century, Tibet, karmapa, gilt copper, is or was at the Jokhang, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

We can see from this image that there is a crescent moon + sun symbol above the visvajra, and a lotus bud finial at the very top. His face is painted with cold gold and pigments, the hair is dyed blue.

17th century, Tibet, karmapa, private collection, pulbished on Himalayan Art Resources.

Since no name is written on the base, it is impossible to say which of the past karmapas this is. There had only been 10 karmapas by the 17th century (all men), some of them easy to identify, others whose features vary considerably. We have seen a sculpture of Mikyo Dorje, the 8th karmapa, with a  similar bone structure but this may be someone else.

17th century, Tibet, karmapa, Same.

An obviously younger man, with a different bone structure.

17th-18th century, Tibet, karmapa?, labelled shamarpa, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

In theory, the shamarpa hat is red, with a triple gem at the front (but we have seen some who have a visvajra and are identified through an inscription on the base of the sculpture) and with clouds on the sides, near to the front panel. This unknown personage could be a karmapa.

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Tibet, Karmapas (4)

14th-15th century, Tibet, Karma Pakshi, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

The 2nd karmapa wears plain monastic clothes and the (black) hat of the Kagyu order. The absence of gilding and the fact that the waist of his lower garment isn’t visible help date the piece.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Karmapa 2, gilt copper alloy, at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum.

After the 15th century, part of the waist of the lower garment shows (over the vest and under the robe, at chest level) and the clothes often have an incised hem.

17th century, Tibet, Karmapa 9, Wangchuk Dorje, copper alloy (labelled ‘silver’) and gilding, at the Liverpool Museum (UK).

This karmapa, with different facial features and no goatee, holds a manuscript in his left hand. He sits on an embroidered cushion covered with a cloth.

17th century, same as before, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

The same man wearing fine garments with an incised foliate pattern.

 

Tibet, Shamarpas (2)

Undated (15th-16 century?), Shamarpa 4, Chodag Yeshe Palzang, Tibet, metal, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

A silver statuette of the 4th shamarpa with the skin painted in cold gold, the facial features with pigments, wearing the red shamarpa hat, his hands setting the wheel of dharma into motion, possibly made during his lifetime, with an inscription on the back that identifies him.

17th century, Tibet, Shamarpa 5, Konchog Yanlag, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Wrapped in full monastic robe with a richly incised hem, the 5th shamarpa does the teaching gesture with his right hand and holds a long-life vase in the other. One would expect the hat to be red, which is the distinction between shamarpas and karmapas of the Kagyu order.

Same as before, photo by Sotheby’s, dated to the 16th century on Himalayan Art Resources,

We see him here holding the long-life vase in both hands, his vest decorated with a geometrical pattern, his outer robe with a chased floral hem, his legs wrapped in a meditation cloak with an incised floral motif. His hat displays a triratna (triple gem) at the front and is topped with a crescent moon and sun plus a (lotus bud?) finial.

17th century, Tibet, Shamarpa 6, Mipam Chokyi Wangchug, gilt metal, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

The 6th shamarpa wears the full monastic robes and has his meditation cloak folded over his left arm, the hat is missing. His left hand is stretched to hold an attribute, probably a long-life vase (or a manuscript) now lost.

Same as before, silver, photo by Sotheby’s.

This rare silver sculpture depicts the same squared-jawed 6th shamarpa seated on a cushion covered with four layers of cloth.

His hat is decorated with the visvajra, crescent moon and sun symbols.

 

 

Tibet, Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso (2)

17th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy, 5th Dalai Lama, is or was at the Chicago Art Institute, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

17th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy, 5th Dalai Lama, is or was at the Art Institute of Chicago, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

As far as facial features, garments and the position of the hands are concerned, this sculpture is very similar to a 17th century dark bronze sculpture of the fifth dalai lama published in a previous post. On this gilt version, the manuscript is missing from his hand and he sits on a single cushion, decorated with double thunderbolts or visvajras.

Same, undated, private collection.

Undated, Tibet, 5th Dalai Lama, published on thubten7.typepad.com.

At first glance, this one looks exactly like a 17th century sculpture also published in a previous post but there are three cushions instead of two and the folds of the garment are slightly different. The front of the cushions is finely decorated with various symbols.

18th century

Tibet, 18th century, metal, 5th Dalai Lama, at the Rubin Museum of Art (USA).

The front of these cushions is more showy. The first two are decorated with thunderbolts (single and double) and there is a geometrical frieze on the third one.

Undated

Tibet, undated, 5th Dalai Lama, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

This is a completely different portrait of him, with a thinner face and masses of cloth around him. He holds a manuscript in his left hand and wears the pointed Sakya hat.

 

Tibet, Düsum Khyenpa (2)

In a previous post we saw the first karmapa, Düsum Khyenpa (1110-1193) with his hands resting over his knees and ‘calling Earth to witness’. Here, he has both hands in the meditation gesture and may have been holding an object, now missing.

14th century, Tibet, 1st karmapa, gilt copper alloy, photo by Nagel.

14th century, Tibet, 1st karmapa, gilt copper alloy, photo by Nagel.

The patches that form his monastic robe are marked with rows of thick beading. The lower part of his garment is tightly tucked under his legs, leaving one foot visible. The whole composition has a balanced, almost pyramidal shape, in the Tibetan style.

Undated, Tibet, 1st karmapa, copper alloy with cold gold, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Undated, Tibet, 1st karmapa, copper alloy with copper, silver and gold inlay, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

As above, he is portrayed with an oval face with high cheekbones, small eyes and lips, but on this sculpture the eyes are more sunken (and the crown-like hat is missing). His inner garment is inlaid with metal and its hem is decorated with a geometrical pattern. The meditation cloak over it covers both arms and is gathered loosely over his legs. The bottom is arranged to form lotus petals over the broad single-lotus base – this, along with the single row of lotus petals, the use of gold inlay and the awkward proportions points to a much later date than the previous item.

Tibet, Karmapas (3)

Undated, Tibet, karmapa, copper alloy with silver inlay, at the Walters

Undated (15th century circa?), Tibet, karmapa, copper alloy with silver inlay, at the Walters Art Museum.

This splendid work may depict one of the early karmapas, who wore flat hats instead of the crown-like ones that were introduced from China (see the Himalayan Art Resources website). He has the elongated earlobes and the urna proper to a buddha. His eyes are inlaid with silver in the Kashmiri style. He wears a mixture of patched, plain and brocaded garments, topped with a meditation cloak that leaves his right arm visible. His right hand does the teaching gesture of vitarka mudra, there is a buddhist text manuscript (sutra) in the other. The sole of his feet is flat and triangular.

16th century, Tibet, karmapa, gilt copper, private collection, published on en.see

16th century, Tibet, karmapa, gilt copper, private collection, published on en.see

This sculpture looks very much like a 16th century brass item published in a previous post. It displays the same facial features, the same type of lotus base, the same hand gestures. The garments and hat vary a little, the only noticeable difference is the shape of the flaming jewel(s) in his hand. Unfortunately, both are without an inscription on the base that would make identification possible.

16th-17th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy, photo by Christie's.

16th-17th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy, photo by Christie’s.

The lower garment of this karmapa is gathered loosely to form a lotus flower over the double-lotus base. His hat is topped with a lotus bud. His hands are both in the meditation gesture.

17th century, Tibet, karmapa, brass,

17th century, Tibet, karmapa, copper alloy, private collection, published on en-seercn.com.

Although the plain single cushion and plain garments are typical of the 17th century, it is more usual for a sculpture of that period to be lavishly gilt. We will also note the large lotus flower on top of his hat (otherwise decorated with the standard five-jewel design at the front, moon crescent and sun disc above). He holds a sutra in his left hand.

Tibet, various Kagyu hierarchs

16th century, Tibet, 4th Gyaltsab Rinpoche,

16th-17th century, Tibet, Dragpa Döndrup, 4th Gyaltsab Rinpoche, gilt copper alloy, photo by Christie’s.

An inscription on the back identifies him as Dragpa Döndrup, the fourth Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche. He is seated in the lotus position on a cushion decorated with lotus flowers, his hands in the teaching and meditation gesture, a book in his left hand. He wears the Karma Kagyu hat with a double thunderbolt or visvajra at the front, a crescent moon and sun disc above, a lotus bud on top. A large amount of fabric is gathered into soft pleats over his feet (in the Chinese style), giving the sculpture a pyramidal effect.17th century, Tibet, Jigten Sumgön, gilt copper alloy,

17th century, Tibet, Jigten Sumgön, gilt copper alloy, on en.seercn.com

The founder of the Drigung Kagyu lineage, Kyobpa Jigten Sumgön (1143-1217), holds a manuscript leaf in his left hand, palm outwards, his right hand does the teaching gesture.

18th century, Tibet, drugpa lama, gilt copper alloy, private collection.

18th century, Tibet, drugpa lama, gilt copper alloy, private collection.