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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.