Tibet, Padmasambhava (12)

16th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt copper alloy with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Koller.

16th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt copper alloy with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Koller.

This is a standard portrait of Padmasambhava dressed in full monastic garments with an incised hem, seated in the vajra posture, a skull cup and a vajra in his hands, his ritual staff propped against his left shoulder, adorned with a lotus hat with a moon and sun symbol at the front and topped with a vulture feather. He has no facial hair and no earrings. It is unusual for the petals on the lotus base to be split at the center.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava,  gilt copper alloy, private collection, published on www.asianart.com

16th-17th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt copper alloy, private collection, published on http://www.asianart.com

On this sculpture, with more realistic facial features and elegant body proportions, he is wearing some footwear. His earrings, necklace and hat are inlaid with turquoise. Other ‘modern’ elements are the profusion of folds in the cloth and the lotus base (with a plain base and a row of wide overlapping petals going upwards). There are long strands of hair over his shoulders.

17th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, dark copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie's.

17th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, dark copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This type of lotus base became popular during the 17th century and is also seen on 17th-18th century works from Mongolia and Bhutan. On the above sculpture we can see some form of footwear under his left hand.

Same as before, gilt copper alloy, at the Museum der Kulturen in Basel (Switzerland).

Same as before, gilt copper alloy, at the Museum der Kulturen in Basel (Switzerland).

Again, his feet are covered here. The lotus base is more elaborate and the style of the petals more innovative.

17th c., Tibet, Padmasambhava, bronze, 24 cm, close up

The front panel of his lotus hat is decorated with a visvajra. The vulture feather is missing.

17th century, Central Tibet, Padmsambhava, ivory,

17th century, Central Tibet, Padmsambhava, ivory, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

This piece is remarkable not only because of the material used by the artist but also – and above all – because of the high degree of craftsmanship.

17th century circa, same as before, private collection, photo by Christie's.

17th century circa, same as before, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This is a similar image, seated on a lotus base with broad flat petals going upwards typical of the 18th century. On both items the vulture feather is missing and he has no staff.

 

 

 

 

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Tibet, Padmasambhava (11)

15th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie's.

15th century (or later?), Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This richly gilt Nepalese-style sculpture depicts Padmasambhava in the traditional way, seated in the vajra position, with a skull cup in his left hand, a vajra in the other and a ritual staff against his left shoulder, his lotus hat topped with a vulture feather. The artist has portrayed him like a deified lama, with long-stem lotuses on each side.

15th c., Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt c.a., foliate scroll design, kartari mudra

His garments are richly incised with a floral and foliate motif. His right hand does the tarjani(or kartari) mudra.

15th c., Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt c.a., lotus base

The shape of the upward-going petals on the lotus base is normally associated with the 16th century onwards, the same goes for the shape of his earrings.

16th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, copper alloy with silver inlay, private collection, photo by Sotheby's.

16th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, copper alloy with silver and copper inlay, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

This is a rare portrait of Padmasambhava, seated on an unusual lotus base and flanked by his main consorts, Mandarava and Yeshe Tsogyal, who stand on lotuses. He has silver-inlaid eyes and copper-inlaid lips. His garments have an incised hem.

Same as before, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby's.

Same as before, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

This is a similar type of portrait (the consorts are missing) complete with its back panel made of two parts and decorated with deities (likely his other forms). Again, we see a lotus base with upward petals flanked by two lotuses and attached to another lotus base, with downward petals.

17th century, Central Tibet, Padmasambhava, copper alloy, at the Museum der Kulturen in Basel (Switzerland).

17th century, Central Tibet, Padmasambhava, copper alloy, at the Museum der Kulturen in Basel (Switzerland).

Dated a century later, this sculpture has a strikingly similar base and is made in a similar (Central Tibetan) style. As we have seen in the introduction to this blog, dating is always relative and it both sculptures were probably made around the same time. This one has lost its back panel but the two consorts are preserved.

Same as before, copper alloy with cold gold, private collection, photo by Koller.

16th-17th century, same as before, copper alloy with cold gold, private collection, photo by Koller.

This is Padmasambhava and his eight forms (or emanations). We can see Dorje Drolo in the bottom right corner, riding a tiger and holding a vajra in one hand and a ritual knife or phur-bu in the other. Guru Dragpo stands on the other side, holding a vajra and a scorpion. Orgyam Dorje Chang, second from the top left corner, looks like Vajradhara and his consort.

 

Tibet, Padmasambhava (10)

16th century circa, Tibet, Padmasambhava, copper alloy, private collection, published on Asianart.com

Circa 16th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, copper alloy, private collection, published on Asianart.com

Padmasambhava is seated in the vajra position on a double-lotus base with curly petals, a skull cup in his left hand, a thunderbolt sceptre in the other, dressed in full monastic robe with incised hems.

16th c. cir., Tibet, Padmasambhava, c.a., 33,5 cm, sideway

He has a beautifully crafted moustache and goatee, thin eyebrows meeting at the centre and topped with a lock of hair (urna), a row of individually sculpted locks of hair below his lotus hat, large almond-shaped eyes and generous lips, his right hand in tarjani mudra.

16th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt copper repoussé, private collection, photo by A.J. Speelman.

16th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt copper repoussé, private collection, photo by A.J. Speelman.

This curious work depicts him rather rotund, without facial hair or urna, adorned with large Chinese-style earrings and brocaded garments with a floral motif, wearing felt boots and a  brocaded hat.

Same as before, copper alloy with cold gold, private collection, photo by Koller.

Same as before, copper alloy with cold gold, private collection, photo by Koller.

The arch behind statues is rarely preserved. This one is decorated with a buddha at the top and two standing figures at the bottom.

Tibet, Padmasambhava (9)

15th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, silver inlaid with stones and coral, at the Rubin Museum of Art (USA).

15th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, silver inlaid with stones and coral, at the Rubin Museum of Art (USA).

The above image depicts Padmasambhava seated on a Yongle-style gilt copper alloy base, with the traditional vajra and skull cup in his hands. The vulture feather on his hat is missing. The artist has given him graceful body proportions and realistic facial features.

15th c., Tibet, Padmasambhava, silver+stones, Rubin, close up

The sun disc on his hat is inlaid with coral. There is no urna on his forehead.

16th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, bronze with stone and coral inlay, at the Dallas Museum of Art (USA).

16th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, bronze with stone and coral inlay, at the Dallas Museum of Art (USA).

This more sober sculpture, made of a dark copper alloy, includes a Nepalese-style lotus base with large flat petals quite popular Tibet during the 16th century circa. The small sun disc on his hat is inlaid with coral, his urna with turquoise. He has no earrings and wears a plain patched robe topped with a cloak.

17th century circa, Tibet, Padmasambhava, brass, private collection, photo by Sotheby's.

17th century circa, Tibet, Padmasambhava, brass, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

This image, on the other hand, incorporates novelties such as his footwear, the neckline of his inner garment, the foliate upward-flowing ribbons, the design of his floral earrings etc. There is a visvajra (double thunderbolt sceptre) at the front of his hat and a vulture feather on top.

17th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Nagel.

17th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Nagel.

Back to sobriety, with no gilding, frills or ribbons, but this time most features are incised, rather than sculpted, to mark the folds of the garments, the slanted semi-closed eyes, the hem of his garments, a vajra symbol at the front of his hat (no crescent moon or sun disc). Even the beading on the lotus base is made with incisions.

Tibet, Padmasambhava (8)

15th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt copper alloy, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

15th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt copper alloy and pigments, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Padmasambhava holds a vajra and a skull cup, he is seated in the vajra posture, dressed in full monastic robe with an incised hem, his lotus hat decorated with a crescent moon and sun disc at the front and adorned with side bows and ribbons.

15th c., Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt c.a.+pig., Navin Kumar, back

The back of his hat is incised with a floral motif. His meditation cloak is dropped around the waist.

16th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, brass and gilding, photo by Koller.

16th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, copper alloy, private collection photo by Koller.

Instead of being on the front panel, the crescent moon and sun disc symbol is on top of his hat, which is adorned with bows and ribbons. The hem of his garments, his hat and even the vulture feather are decorated with an incised motif. He wears large floral earrings. His thin eyebrows meet together and are topped with a raised urna.

Same as before, copper alloy with silver and copper inlay, private collection, photo by Sotheby's.

Same as before, copper alloy with silver and copper inlay, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

This sculpture is remarkable for its particularly harmonious proportions and pyramidal shape. His gentle face has wide-open eyes inlaid with silver, copper-inlaid lips and a large oval urna. Parts of his garments are inlaid with copper.  His robe is incised with a floral pattern and covers the top of the Yongle-style lotus base.

16th century, Western Tibet, Padmasambhava, brass with copper and silver inlay, at the Museo de Culturas del Mundo, Barcelona (Spain).

16th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, brass with copper, silver and stone inlay, at the Museo de Culturas del Mundo, Barcelona (Spain).

On this remarkably similar piece, the feather is still on top of his lotus hat and the lower part of the base is plain.

16th c., Tibet, Padmasambhava, brass+c.+sil., close up

His urna and earrings are inlaid with turquoise, most of the stones are now missing (as on the bows that adorn his crown).

17th century circa, same as before.

17th century circa, same as before, photo by Koller.

On this image, complete with ritual staff and vulture feather, the design of the lotus base (with broader and more elongated petals), the earrings, the upward flying ribbons and the elongated torso point to the 17th century.

 

 

Tibet, Padmasambhava (7)

16th century, Central Tibet, Tsang province, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

16th century, Central Tibet, Tsang atelier, Padmasambhava, copper alloy,  private collection, photo by Bonhams, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Padmasambhava is depicted with all three attributes (vajra in right hand, skull cup in left hand, ritual staff against left arm), dressed in full monastic robe including a meditation cloak over his shoulders, his lotus hat with a moon and sun symbol at the front and topped with a vulture feather.

16th c., Central Tibet, Tsang atelier, Padmasambhava, c.a.+turq., back

His pleated cloak is incised with scrolled vegetation throughout.

16th c., Central Tibet, Padmasambhava, c.a.+turq., face

The hem of his inner and outer garment is incised with a floral motif. His harmonious and serene face has silver-inlaid eyes and a turquoise-inlaid urna, his elongated earlobes are adorned with large floral earrings.

16th c., Central Tibet, Padmasambhava, c.a.+turq., top

His ritual staff (khatvanga) is made of two severed heads and a skull, topped with a trident (trisula).

16th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, copper alloy, private collection.

16th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, copper alloy, private collection.

On this sculpture, similar to several others published in the previous post, his garments are incised with a cloud and mist motif and the sun-and-moon symbol on his hat is also incised (rather than overlaid). The hole in the left forearm is probably where his (now missing) ritual staff was attached to the body.

16th c., Tibet, Padmasambhava, bronze, back

The pleats of his meditation cloak are very artistically arranged around a central panel. Even the collar and the back of the hat are incised, yet the back of the lotus base is plain, as is often the case with Tibetan sculptures, especially up to the 16th century.

Same as before, at the Newark Museum of Art (USA).

Same as before, gilt copper alloy, at the Newark Museum of Art (USA).

This is a mixed style work, with Chinese-style draping of the lower garment, a Nepalese-style lotus base with round petals, and various unusual features, such as the wires that hold the vulture feather on his hat and the shape of the ritual staff. Only the hem of his garments is incised.

Same as before.

Same as before.

The large hoops on his ears are quite common on sculptures from the 16th century onwards with a marked Chinese influence (in the draping of the garments and the shape of the (Yongle-style) lotus base). Nonetheless, he has Tibetan facial features and his hair has been painted with lapis lazuli powder, in the Tibetan fashion.

16th c., Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt c.a., Newar, back

His patched robe and his hat are richly incised on both sides.

Tibet, Padmasambhava (6)

15th-16th century, Central Tibet, Tsang valley, Padmasambhava, copper alloy with silver and turquoise inlay, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (USA).

15th-16th century, Central Tibet, Tsang valley, Padmasambhava, copper alloy with silver and turquoise inlay, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (USA).

Wrapped in (finely incised) full monastic garments, Padmasambhava holds a vajra and a skull cup (kapala) and wears a  lotus hat adorned with side bows and topped with a (broken) vulture feather. His wide-open eyes are inlaid with silver, his tear-shaped urna and his earrings with turquoise. He is seated on cushion totally covered by his robe, over a single-lotus base with petals going downwards.

15th century, Tibet Padmasambhava, copper alloy, private collection.

15th century (or 16th?), Tibet Padmasambhava, copper alloy, private collection.

This is a fairly similar image, with a different lotus base.

Same as before, brass, private collection. photo by Christie's.

Same as before, brass, private collection. photo by Christie’s.

Here, the single-lotus base with curly petals has an incised geometrical motif at the front and an inscription with his name at the back.

15th-16th c., Tibet, Padmasambhava, brass, 17,5 cm, inner+outer robe incised with stippled motifs, inscrip. on back, close up

His lotus hat is topped with a half vajra and decorated with the traditional crescent moon and sun disc symbols. His garments are richly incised with a floral motif. He has generous facial features and thin V-shaped eyebrows enhanced by the large tear-shaped urna on his forehead. There are traces of blue pigment on the strands of hair falling over his shoulders and red pigment on his lips. He wears large round earrings and bone ornaments.

15th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, copper alloy with metal and stone inlay, private collection, photo by Christie's.

15th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, copper alloy with metal and stone inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

On this sculpture, he wears a patched robe with an incised hem, the lower part artistically arranged over the lotus base (which may not be the original one). His eyes are inlaid with silver, his lips with copper, his necklace with turquoise and coral.

15th-16th century, Tibet, brass with silver-inlaid eyes, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

15th-16th century, Tibet, brass with silver-inlaid eyes, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Seated on a Yongle-style lotus base, wrapped in full monastic garments, holding the usual attributes, Padmasambhava is depicted here with a moustache and goatee.

15th-16th c., Tibet, Padmasambhava, brass+sil. inlaid eyes, close up

His eyes are inlaid with silver and copper to give him a very expressive look, his garments are richly incised with a scrolled motif.

15th-16th c., Tibet, Padmasambhava, brass+sil. inlaid eyes, face

His hat is adorned with side bows, there is a large crescent moon and sun disc symbol on the triangular panel at the front. The design of his earrings and the shape of his eyebrows are unusual.