Tibet, various lamas (9)

13th century, Tibet, Kagyu lama, possibly Sanggye Yarjon, silver, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Early Tibetan sculptures usually depict lamas dressed in thick garments, often patched up, including a meditation cloak covering their back and knees, one or both feet showing.

This teacher with generous facial features, thick hair and a thin beard does the fear-allaying gesture with his right hand.

13th century, Tibet, lama, bronze, at the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg (Russia).

This rare works depicts a lama seated on a lotus atop a Kashmiri-style lion throne covered with a cloth and decorated with visvajras.

16th century, Tibet, lama, bronze, at the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg (Russia).

Probably an important teacher, since he holds a long-life vase in his left hand and a flaming jewel in the other. His lower garment is pleated over his breast and fastened with a girdle.

The outer robe is decorated with embossed lotuses and incised floral motifs.

16th-17th century, Tibet, lama, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Koller.

Unlike most, this Tibetan teacher has an urna on his forehead.

15th-16th century, Tibet, lama, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

From the late 15th century onwards, lamas are often portrayed with sumptuous clothes made of soft Chinese silk with thick embroidered hems.

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

17th-18th century, Tibet, lama, gilt copper alloy, at the British Museum in London (UK).

Here the silk is embroidered throughout except for the border, and both feet are covered.

17th-18th century, Tibet, lama, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Lempertz

 

 

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Tibet, lamas on single lotus base (2)

15th century, Tibet, lama, gilt copper alloy, at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York (USA).

This elderly lama is seated on a single lotus base with large petals going upwards, a design which normally includes a plain rim below.

15th-16th century, Central Tibet, Kagyu lama, brass, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Probably made in a Tsang province atelier, this masterpiece depicts a lama coiffed with an embroidered Kagyu lama hat. He has silver-inlaid eyes and the border of his garments is decorated with an incised floral pattern. The Yongle-style lotus base with a plain plinth and elongated petals going downwards between two rows of beading is typical of the period.

Late 16th century, Tibet, lama, bronze (brass), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This is an unusual design, with thick beading at the bottom and the lotus petals almost horizontal and topped with a cushion.

17th-18th century, Tibet, gilt bronze (copper alloy), at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (USA).

The way this lama wears his pointed cap flat over his head could indicate that he was a translator. He holds a manuscript in his left hand while doing the teaching gesture with the other. The tall rim and large upward going petals is a design often seen on circa 18th century Tibetan sculptures.

18th century, Tibet, lama, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This one holds a large round jewel (cintimani).

17th century, Tibet, Nyingmapa master, purple sandalwood, private collection, photo by Far East Asian Art.

Sculptures made of red sandalwood (also known by its Chinese name, zitan) seem to have been popular in Tibet from the 17th century onwards. They are usually decorated with cold gold.

18th century, Tibet, Nyingpa lama, gilt bronze (copper alloy) private collection, photo by Arcimboldo.

This fully-bearded character holds a long-life vase.

Tibet, lamas on cushion (4)

15th-16th century, Tibet, lama, gilt bronze (copper alloy), at the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg (Russia).

A Chinese-style work depicting a Buddhist teacher seated on a lion skin covered with a silk cloth, atop three brocaded cushions (which indicates that the sculpture may have been made during his lifetime or shortly after).

16th-17th century, Tibet, lama, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Here we have two embroidered cushions, covered with an antelope skin. The youthful lama with thick black hair holds a long life vase with both hands.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Kagyu lama, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

A single plump cushion, covered with a large cloth on which there is a small antelope or deer skin. The lama holds a flaming jewel in his left hand.

Late 17th century, Tibet, lama, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Cambi.

This lama’s face has been painted with gold cold. He sits on two cushions wrapped in a blanket.

17th-18th century, Tibet, lama, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Lempertz.

17th-18th century, Tibet, lama, gilt bronze (copper alloy), same as before.

18th century, Tibet, lama, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Nagel.

The expressive lines on this character’s face are meant to indicate his age. He is dressed in full monastic attire including a meditation cloak. His hands, held in the meditation gesture, may have held a vase.

18th century, Tibet, lama, gilt metal, at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York (USA).

This one holds a manuscript in his left hand.

 

 

Tibet, famous lamas (10)

Early 16th century, Tibet, Konchog Pel, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

The seventh abbot of the Ngor monastery ‘turning the wheel of dharma’ with his hands.

His hair is painted with black paint and his lips with red pigment.

15th century (or later?), Tibet, Zhangton Konchok Pel, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Capriaquar.

The same lama, also known as Zhangton Konchok Pel, seated on a double lotus base with a vajra engraved at the front.

16th century, Tibet, Sonam Gyaltsen, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, published on http://www.buddhist-art.info.

The famous 14th century Sakya master wears sumptuous Chinese silk garments including a vest with an embroidered border, a matching lower garment fastened with a girdle, an outer robe with a floral design.

 

 

17th centuury, Tibet, dry lacquer, private collection, photo by Plum Blossoms.

This character with a mahasiddha appearance seems to be holding a pill between his thumb and forefinger, in which case we are probably looking at Yuthok Yonten Gonpo, a famous Tibetan physician, author of the medicine tantras (there is a disagreement among scholars as to whether there existed one or two lamas with this name and function, one during the 8th century and the other during the 12th century). We have seen other images of him, with a small triangular face and a small goatee,  but his hair was split in three bunches instead of being braided and fastened in a top knot.

17th century, Tibet, gilt and painted stone, probably Tsang Nyon Heruka, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

This teacher with a mahasiddha appearance holds a (missing) vajra sceptre in his right hand and a skull cup in the other, as is often the case with Tsang Nyon Heruka, usually seated on an antelope skin and with a meditation strap as above.

 

 

 

15th-16th century, Tibet, Yang Gönpa, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Sotheby’s

The master sits in the vajra position, dressed in patched garments, his left hand in the meditation gesture, the other ‘calling Earth to witness’.

 

Tibet, lamas on double lotus base (2)

14th century, Tibet, Tsang province, lama, copper alloy, Navin Kumar collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources.

This Tibetan teacher holds a small bowl between his hands.

The border of his garments is richly incised with a floral pattern.

Circa 1400, Tibet, lama, gilt copper alloy on a copper alloy base, private collection, photo by Rossi & Rossi.

Few lamas are depicted with a beard – usually short and worn below the chin, as above.

Circa 15th century, Tibet, lama, brass with silver and copper inlay, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

This remarkable work depicts a lama seated in a relaxed manner, his hands ‘turning the wheel of dharma‘.

His large eyes are inlaid with silver.

He has silvered hair and his patched garments are inlaid with copper and silver.

15th century, Tibet, lama, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Marchance.

16th century, Tibet, lama, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Mossgreen.

16th century, Tibet, lama, gilt copper and cold gold, private collection, photo by Koller.

16th-17th century, Tibet, ascetic monk, gilt bronze (copper alloy), at Harvard Art Museums (USA).

16th-17 century, Tibet, lama, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

17th century, Tibet, lama, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Tibet, various lamas (8)

Circa 1350, Tibet, Drapga Sengge, parcel-gilt silver, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

The 13th century teacher is seated on a lotus over a stepped throne supported by Yakshas and decorated with vajra sceptres and gems, a style particularly popular during 14th century Tibet. The back plate is partly painted red and partly inlaid with turquoise. The flaming mandorla has an inner row of petals and three rows of beading, the outer one offset with a floral design and turquoise cabochons at head level.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Chogyal Pagpa, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

At first glance this looks like a standard portrait of a lama in monastic garments but his left foot is below his right leg instead of being locked in the vajra position.

16th century, Tibet, probably Tsang province, Choleg, copper alloy with silver inlay, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

This masterpiece depicts a teacher seated in a relaxed manner, displaying silver-inlaid lotuses on the palm of his hands and the soles of his feet, ‘the mark of a virtuous and enlightened being’ according to Bonhams. Unfortunately, the inscription on the back of the statue does not provide the full name of this personage.

16th century, Tibet, bshadgrubdma dpalkong mchanchan, bronze (copper alloy) with silver-inlaid eyes, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This lama holds a long-life vase in his left hand and displays the teaching gesture with the other.

16th century, Tibet, probably Tsang province, Chokyong Paljor, copper alloy with silver inlay, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

A lively image of a deified lama holding a flaming triple gem (triratna) in his left hand.

He has silver-inlaid eyes and a painted beard. The manuscript is topped with a pearl.

His garment is decorated with incised symbols, clouds and flowers in the manner of the Tsang province ateliers.

There is an inscription around the base and two loops on the back to fit a (now lost) flaming mandorla.

Tibet, Famous Translators (2)

16th century, Tibet, Drogmi Lotsawa Shakya Yeshe, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

The lotsawa’s right hand displays the gesture for bestowing patience (the tip of the middle finger pressing the tip of the thumb while the other fingers are erect), a gesture commonly used by figures holding a rosary.

16th century, Tibet, Drogmi Lotsawa Shakya Yeshe, gilt copper, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

The same character, identified by an inscription on the back of the sculpture. The term lotsawa refers here to a native Tibetan translator who translated Buddhist texts, mainly from Sanskrit, into the Tibetan language.

17th century, Tibet, Marpa Chokyi Lodro, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Arcimboldo.

Perhaps the most famous of all, Marpa Chokyi Lodro is easily recognised through is distinctive hairstyle and corpulence. This work depicts a young Marpa, seated on an antelope or deer skin over two cushions, his face and hands painted with cold gold, dressed in a garment with long sleeves fastened with a girdle.

His back is covered with a thick meditation cloak.

16th-17th century, Ngok Lotsawa Loden Sherab, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.