Tibet, Mahasiddha Dampa Sangye (4)

For detailed biographical notes on this particularly interesting Indian tantric master see here

16th century, Tibet, Dampa Sangye, gilt copper alloy with cold gold and pigments, private collection, photo by Hanhai Auctions, published on HAR

Dampa Sangye in the ‘salute posture’, seated with his legs locked, his right hand raised above his head, holding a water pot in his left hand.

16th century (or earlier?), Tibet, Dampa Sangye, metal (copper alloy) at the Museum der Kulturen in Basel (Switzerland), photo on HAR

On this variant he is seated in the royal ease position and the right hand is lower down with the palm facing the viewer.

Undated (circa 15th century?), Tibet, Tsang province, copper alloy?, at the Museum der Kulturen in Basel (Switzerland), photo on Himalayan Art Resources, item 3314785.

Another recurrent depiction of him is one called ‘the pacification posture’. He may be seated with both knees raised, both hands doing the gesture of debate (vitarka) before his heart…

Undated, Tibet, brass, private collection, photo on HAR

(15th-16th century?, Tibet, Dampa Sangye), yogi, gilt bronze private collection, photo on Drouot

… or sit in a more relaxed posture with his legs crossed at the ankles with or without the help of a meditation strap.

(Undated, Tibet?) Dampa Sangye, gilt metal, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources

In the ‘severance’ posture he holds a drum in his right hand at head level and a thigh bone trumpet in the other.

15th century, Tibet, Dampa Sangye, gilt copper or copper alloy, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources

On this rare work he holds a horn (sometimes used to keep medicinal herbs in Tibet), and does a gesture to ward off evil.

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Tibet, Mahasiddha Dampa Sangye (3)

16th c., Tibet, Dampa Sangye, c.a.+cold g., 21 cm, floral patter fabric, hands in vitarka, holds jewel, pacification posture, 12865 har, Sotheby's

16th century, Tibet, Mahasiddha Dampa Sangye, copper alloy with cold gold, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

The Indian tantric practitioner is seated on an antelope skin with both knees raised, his legs wrapped in a heavy meditation cloak, his hands in the teaching gesture and holding  pill or a pearl between the right thumb and forefinger. His cloak is decorated with incised clouds and scrolls. The face is painted with cold gold.

Undated, Tibet, Dampa Sangye, copper alloy with cold gold and pigments, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources item 49424.

A singular image of him with a yogic strap embellished with a chased geometric pattern and a cross belt.

Undated (15th or 16th century), same, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources item 32736.

He often has a large urna on his forehead and may wear a floral tiara.

16th-17th century, same, copper alloy, at the British Museum in London (UK).

This peculiar work portrays him almost like a sphinx, his long hair combed back and falling over his shoulders, the chased pattern on his cloak blending in with that of the stepped plinth. He holds a jewel in each hand, held out and displaying an incised diamond in each palm.

Undated, same, gilt copper alloy, at a mountain sanctuary, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Alternatively, he sits in a relaxed posture and raises his right hand in a greeting gesture, in front of him or above his head, palm out,  while holding a bag or pouch in his left hand.

Undated (16th century circa?), same, copper alloy, published in Grandes Lamas del Tibet, and on Himalayan Art Resources.

On occasions, he holds a thigh bone flute in his left hand and another attribute in the right hand. In this case, it appears to be a lotus bud.

Tibet, Mahasiddha Dampa Sangye (2)

11th-12th century, Tibet, copper alloy, Mahasidda, probably Dampa Sangye, private collection, photo by Christie's.

11th-12th century, Tibet, copper alloy, Mahasiddha, probably Dampa Sangye, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This tantric adept is depicted naked, seated in the vajra position, both hands in the meditation gesture. Although this may be another yogi, the elongated earlobes, thick matted hair coils sculpted individually and wide gaze are typical of Dampa Sangye portraits. The dating is based on the assumption that the sculpture was made during his life or shortly after but, in any case, the realistic and harmonious body proportions and soft facial features, together with the use of un-gilt copper alloy and its patina correspond to an early work.

Mahasiddha Dampa Sangye?,11th-12th c., Tibet, 34,2 cm, back

With such poise and elegance this could be the back of a buddha (but for the nakedness).

16th century, Tibet, Mahasiddha Dampa Sangye, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

16th century, Tibet, Mahasiddha Dampa Sangye, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Here the mahasiddha is depicted with both hands in the vitarka mudra (teaching or debate), seated with his legs raised, as seen in a previous post.  His garment, worn from the waist down, covers both legs and feet.

Mahasiddha Dampa Sangye, 16th c., Tibet, bronze, 15,24 cm, close up

He has elongated earlobes, long matted hair, a small moustache, a low beard, and a very large urna (lock of hair) above his frowning unibrow. His wide-open eyes are inlaid with silver and his fleshy lips are inlaid with copper.

15th century, Tibet, Mahasiddha Padampa Sangye, stone, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

He is depicted here in the ‘pacification posture’, his hands held palm out before his heart, but instead of his legs being crossed and his knees raised as usual, he is seated with his legs loosely unfolded.

He has long locks of matted hair and wears bone ornaments, a cross belt, a lower garment and a meditation strap.

Undated, same as before.

Undated, same as before.

Dampa Sangye is seated with his legs loosely folded, he raises a hand to his ear, the other does the karana mudra (lion gesture). He has a low beard, thick matted hair, elongated earlobes, a  large raised urna, thin meeting eyebrows and silver-inlaid eyes, nipples and nails.

Mahasiddha Dampa Sangye, undated, Tibet, c.a., back

He is seated on a cushion with rounded corners and wears a meditation cloak which thick smooth pleats. Both features are often found on early works (circa 13th century) and contrast with the sharp facial features.

Tibet, Mahasiddha Dampa Sangye

13th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy, private collection

13th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo on HAR.

Dampa Sangye wears a monastic robe covering one shoulder and raises one hand in a gesture of salute. He is seated on a tallish double-lotus base with rather flat and irregular petals and thick beading at the top.

14th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Mid 14th century, (Southern) Central Tibet, copper alloy, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (USA).

This carefully crafted sculpture shows the mahasiddha raising both hands in the gesture of pacification. He wears a long lower garment, incised with a floral pattern, that goes over his feet and beyond. The tallish base has only one row of thick lotus petals and wide round leaves between two rows of small beading. His eyes are inlaid with silver. He wears a floral crown and some spiral-shaped earrings.

14th century, Tibet, bronze with silver inlay, private collection

14th century, Tibet, bronze (copper alloy) with silver- inlaid eyes, private collection, photo on  Asian Art

This is a fairly similar treatment of the same subject but he is seated on an antelope skin over a cushion, on a single-lotus base with one row of thick beading at the bottom.