Tibet, various characters

12th century, Tibet, lay tantric practitioner, copper alloy with gilding and pigments, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

12th century, Tibet, lay tantric practitioner, copper alloy with gilding and pigments, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

Only the hairstyle differentiates this lay tantric practitioner from monastic ones. On paintings his robe would be white.

13th century, Tibet, noblewoman, wood and pigments, cold gold on face.

13th century, Tibet, noblewoman, wood,  private collection.

Her face is painted with cold gold and pigments.

15th century, Southern Tibet, devotee, gilt copper alloy, private collection.

15th century, Southern Tibet, devotee, gilt copper alloy, private collection.

The way this female character is leaning on one knee, the other slightly raised, with her hands held before her, indicates that she is a devotee. She is adorned with a small tiara, necklaces, armbands, bracelets, anklets and a belt over her short lower garment.

 

Tibet, 12th-13th century, copper alloy, yogin with attributes, private collection

12th-13th century, Tibet, copper alloy, yogi with attributes, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This yogi holds a lotus bud in his right hand and another object in his left hand. The body proportions and the roundness and softness of the shapes, along with the use of ungilt copper alloy, are typical of early Tibetan works.

17th century, Tibet, standing yogi, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie's.

17th century, Tibet, standing yogi, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Undated, Tibet. ascetic lama, copper alloy,

Undated, Tibet. ascetic lama, copper alloy, at the Rubin Museum of Art (USA).

This ascetic character with realistic features wears a short loincloth and a small skull at the front of his head. He holds a horn in his left hand, similar to those used in Tibet to keep medicinal herbs. He sits on an antelope skin, on a single-lotus base with thin petals going downwards.

Undated, Tibet, lama, ascetic, back

His body has been painted with cold gold, partly worn off. The high degree of craftsmanship is particularly noticeable in the way his matted locks of hair are depicted and in the care taken with the pedestal.

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Tibet, famous translators

16th century, Tibet, Drogmi Lotsawa, bronze, at Museum der Kulturen, Basel (Switzerland).

16th century, Tibet, Drogmi Lotsawa, bronze, at the Museum der Kulturen, Basel (Switzerland).

Drogmi, also known as Drogmi Lotsawa (i.e. translator) Shakya Yeshe (992 – 1072?), famous translator and teacher, is seated on a small cushion, his legs folded but not quite in the lotus position, tightly wrapped in a monastic garment with an incised hem, both hands over the knees.

17th century, Tibet, Drogmi Lotsawa, gilt metal, at the Rubin Museum of Art (USA).

17th century, Tibet, Drogmi Lotsawa, gilt metal, at the Rubin Museum of Art (USA).

On this sculpture, the supple folds and draping of the lower garment show a Chinese influence.  His hands do the vitarka and the chin mudras.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Go Lotsawa Zhonupel, copper alloy, private collection.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Go Lotsawa, copper alloy, private collection.

Go Lotsawa Zhonnu Pel (1392-1481), famous translator, historian and teacher, author of the ‘Blue Annals’, is portrayed here as an elderly man, dressed in plain monastic garments.  His meditation cloak is folded over his lap and right arm, leaving his right arm and foot bare. Both hands rest over the knees.

Undated, Tibet, Marpa, private collection

Undated, Tibet, Marpa, copper alloy, private collection.

Undated, Tibet, Marpa, copper alloy, close up

Marpa Chokyi Lödro  is seated on a plain cushion, one leg unfolded. He wears richly incised garments that cover both arms. His hands are held over his knees. This sculpture is very similar to another two (gilt copper alloy) published in a previous post and dated 17th century but it may be a century earlier.

18th century, Tibet, Marpa, dry lacquer and cold gold, photo by Christie's.

18th century, Tibet, Marpa, dry lacquer and cold gold, photo by Christie’s.

 

Tibet, Marpa Chokyi Lodro

Early 12th century, Tibet, Marpa,

17th century, Tibet, Marpa, bronze with copper, silver and gold inlay, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (USA).

Marpa Chokyi Lodrö (1012-1097), also known as Marpa Lotsawa, “the translator”, is seated in the lotus position, his hands on his knees, wrapped in a long sleeve robe held in place with a sash and topped with a meditation cloak. His droopy eyes are inlaid with silver, his earplugs with gold, the piping on his clothes with copper. We will notice the delicate hands, the realistic facial features, the way the pleats of the sleeves and waist have been given volume to make the fabric look thick, unlike the luxurious gown on the next picture.

11th century, Tibet, gilt metal with cold gold and pigments, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

17th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy with cold gold and pigments, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

This work depicts him with a square and sad face, seated  on a finely decorated cushion, wrapped in a soft, tight-fitting garment richly incised on the upper part, his hands resting on his knees, one leg unfolded. The meditation cloak is held far back.

Same as before.

Same as before.

This is a very similar portrait but with his eyes cast down (and plain garments and cushion). On both sculptures the foot that is showing is bare (and his legs look too short).

13th century, same as before.

13th century, same as before.

This more impersonal portrait of Marpa  depicts him with the same type of ‘kimono-like’ garment with ample sleeves, seated on a throne in the lotus position, his feet covered by a generous amount of fabric.

14th century circa, Tibet, Marpa, copper alloy, private collection.

14th century circa, Tibet, Marpa, copper alloy, private collection.

Still with a sad gaze, Marpa holds a thunderbolt in his right hand and a bell in the other. The hem of his garment is decorated with thick beading. He has one leg unfolded, the tip of a boot showing from under the robe. On all these sculptures, Marpa has very thick, short hair.

 

15th-16th century, Tibet, Marpa, gilt copper alloy, at the Newark Museum of Art.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Marpa, gilt copper alloy with pigment, at the Newark Museum of Art.

On other works, which depict him with harmonious proportions and in a rather idealised way (much younger, with an oval face, smiling) his hair is long and combed back.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Marpa, copper alloy with pigment, photo by Koller.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Marpa, copper alloy with pigment, photo by Koller.

 

 

 

Tibet, Yeshe Tsogyal and Mandavara

17th century, Tibet, Yeshe Tsogyal, wood and gilding, photo by Sotheby's.

17th century, Tibet, Yeshe Tsogyal, wood and gilding, photo by Sotheby’s.

One of the wives of Tibetan King Trisong Detsen (8th century AD), she is said to have been offered to Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) and became his consort. Sometimes regarded as a manifestation of Sarasvati, she is often described as a terrestrial form of Vajrayogini or Tara. Here she is shown holding a skull cup in her right hand while doing a symbolical gesture with the other.

Along with Yeshe Tsogyal, Mandavara  was one of Padmasambhava’s consorts. She is regarded as a wisdom dakini. She usually wears a long dhoti and a long robe over it, is adorned with jewellery, and a mirror, and holds an implement, usually a long-life vase in her left hand, while doing a symbolical gesture with the other.

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

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

16th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy inlaid with stones, cold gold and pigments on the face. Photo by Christie's

16th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy inlaid with stones, cold gold and pigments on the face. Photo by Christie’s.

This Nepales-style sculpture represents he with a skull cup in her hand.

16th century, Tibet, Mandavara, gilt copper alloy, private collection.

16th century, Tibet, Mandavara, gilt copper alloy, private collection.

Here she has the mirror in her chignon and the long-life vase in her hand.