Tibet, Mahasiddha Kanha (3)

First half of the 16th century (labelled 1400-1499 on HAR), Tibet, gilt copper repoussé with cold gold and pigments, is or was at the Mindrolling monastery, photo on Himalayan Art Resources

16th century, Tibet, Tsang province, Kanha, metal (brass with silver-inlaid eyes), at the Museum der Kulturen in Basel, photo on HAR

16th century, Tibet, Kanha, gilt metal (copper alloy) with turquoise inlay and pigments, item 11026 on HAR

This Indian adept often does the gesture to bestow refuge with his right hand (tip of ring finger on tip of thumb) while holding a skull cup in the other.

Mahasiddha Kanha pos., 16th c., Tibet, bronze, 10,8 cm, pos. Kanha, Pundoles

16th century, Tibet, Mahasiddha, possibly Kanha, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo on Pundoles.

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Tibet, various mahasiddhas (6)

16th century, Tibet, Naropa, metal (copper alloy), at the Museum der Kulturen in Basel, photo on HAR

Depicted with a mahasiddha appearance, his hair tied in a top knot, adorned with bone ornaments including a cross-belt and dressed with a tiger skin loin cloth, Naropa holds a human hide across his back.

16th century, Tibet, Tsang province, Naropa, metal (copper alloy), at the Museum der Kulturen in Basel, item 3314781 on Himalayan Art Resources.

He may also be seated on a lion skin and hold a skull cup filled with nectar (usually in his left hand) while doing a symbolical gesture with the other, in this case to bestow refuge.

14th century, Tibet, Ghantapa, gilt copper alloy with stones, private collection, photo on  Himalayan Art Resources 

Originally published in the bodhisattva section as “16th century, Tibet, Ghantapani, gilt copper alloy inlaid with stones, private collection, photo by Christie’s”, this figure has been identified as Indian adept Ghantapa on the above-mentioned website, and classified as a Densatil Monastery style work (which fits in with the facial features, the design of the jewellery and the small size of the stone inlay).

He wears a cross belt and has a vajra finial on his chignon. He holds a vajra sceptre and a vajra bell.

16th century, Tibet, Tsang province, Dombi Heruka, metal, at the Museum der Kulturen in Basel, photo on HAR

Dombi Heruka is riding a tigress and holding a skull cup in his left hand and possibly a serpentine lasso in the other.

Tibet, Mahasiddha Avadhutipa (4)

16th century, Tibet, Tsang province, Avadhutipa, metal (copper alloy), private collection, photo on HAR

This Indian king who was converted buddhism is often depicted leaning on his left arm, his right hand doing the ‘calling Earth to witness’ gesture associated with the historical buddha.

15th-16th century, Tibet, (Tsang province), Avadhutipa, brass inlaid with silver and copper, is or was at the V&A museum in London (UK).

Alternatively he does a pointing gesture with his right hand. He is usually adorned with a floral tiara and matching adornments. The above is seated on an antelope skin.

16th century, Tibet, Tsang province, Avadhutipa, metal, at the Museum der Kulturen in Basel (Switzerland), photo on Himalayan Art Resources

 

Tibet, various mahasiddhas (5)

Undated (15th/16th century), Tibet, Tsang province, Mahasiddha, private collection, photo by Hanhai Auction, published on HAR

Jalandharapa stands in a yogic posture and holds both hands palm out over his forehead.

16th century, Tibet, Tilopa, gilt metal, private collection, published on HAR , item 33648.

Seated at ease with his left foot resting on a lotus flower, Tilopa holds a fish in his right hand and a skull cup in the other.

16th century, Tibet, Tilopa, metal, private collection, published on HAR

The same personage, seated in a yogic posture on an antelope skin, adorned with floral accessories.

14th century circa?, Tibet, Saraha (formerly labelled ‘Shavaripa’), (gilt copper or copper alloy with stone inlay) published on HAR, item 202832.

We have seen several Densatil-style sculptures like this before, some of them attributed to the Sonam Gyaltsen atelier in the Tsang province of Tibet, including a strikingly similar one of Saraha, who usually holds a long arrow in both hands (whereas Shavaripa would hold a bow and an arrow). He wears a crown with five skulls each topped with a stone-inlaid leaf, large hoops, princely jewellery, a cross belt and a meditation strap with a stone-inlaid rice grain pattern.

18th century, Tibet, Kukkuripa, gilt bronze (copper alloy with turquoise inlay), private collection, photo by Hampel Auctions

Kukkuripa always has his little dog with him.

Tibet, Mahasiddha Avadhutipa (3)

15th century, Tibet, Mahasiddha Avadhutipa, gilt metal and lapis lazuli inlay, private collection, photo on HAR .

A rare portrait of Avadhutipa, ‘The Mendicant’, seated with his legs crossed in an akward position, adorned with a sash, flowers and bone ornaments.

16th century, Tibet, Mahasiddha Avadhutipa, gilt metal (with turquoise and coral inlay), private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources (item 83701).

He is often shown seated at royal ease, usually leaning on his left arm while the right hand does the teaching gesture or ‘calls Earth to witness’. In this case he leans on his right arm and does a different gesture with the left hand, as if to hold an attribute.

16th century, Tibet, Mahasiddha Avadhutipa, bronze with silver inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

He may also hold a skull cup in his left hand. On this example, the right hand does a fear-allaying gesture. He is seated on an antelope skin and his hair is rolled around a manuscript.

15th century, Tibet, Mahasiddha Avadhutipa, gilt metal , private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources, item 83733.

Yet another way of representing him, this time with his right forefinger pointing to the ground and his left hand doing the teaching gesture.

Tibet, various mahasiddhas (4)

15th-16th century, Tibet, Mahasiddha Catrapa, bronze (copper alloy), at the Power House Museum in Sydney (Australia).

Adorned with large hoops and floral jewellery (an anti-caste symbol), the great tantric practitioner Catrapa is identified by the manuscript in his left hand. His right hand does the teaching gesture.

Undated, Siddha Dombi Heruka, Tibet, metal, at the Capital Museum in Beijing (China).

Mahasiddha Dombi Heruka, formerly King Cakravarman (Kashmir, 10th century AD), rides a pregnant tigress and is normally accompanied by his consort. He wears bone jewellery and has a skull in his headdress.

His attributes are a snake held like a lasso and a skull cup.

The above also wears snakes around his ankles and a dhoti incised with a floral motif. An inscription on the base bears his name.

Undated, Tibet, Mahasiddha Luipa, wood, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (USA).

Luipa, Master of Secrets, is identified by the fish gut he is eating. He sits on a deer skin over a thick cushion, a female attendant to his left, a large fish to his right.

Tibet, Mahasiddha Ghantapa

15th century, Tibet, Mahasiddha Ghantapada, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Ghantapa (or Ghantapada), ‘The Celibate Bell Ringer’, brandishes a vajra sceptre in his right hand and holds a bell (ghanta) in the other. He wears a conical headdress with a half-vajra finial, princely jewellery, a body belt with a rice-grain pattern that matches the hem of his calf-length garment.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Mahasiddha, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Koller.

This figure, seated on an antelope skin and holding the same attributes could be Ghantapa.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Mahasiddha Ghantapa, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Cornette de Saint-Cyr.

Quite a different portrait of the same man, his tongue pulled irreverently, the eyes bulging out, coiffed with a floral crown with long ribbons and adorned with serpentine bracelets and sacred thread, a beaded necklace and anklets.