Tibet, Achala – various forms (4)

12th-13th century, Tibet, Achala, bronze, private collection, photo on Nagel Blue Achala may have a fierce yaksha appearance with wrathful ornaments…

Unlabelled (circa 15th century?, Tibet, Achala, gilt copper or copper alloy with turquoise) private collection, photo on HAR  

… or a human one (with a third eye) and princely accessories. He may be kneeling on one knee (often the left one in Tibet, the right one in Nepal), in which case there is no victim under him.

Unlabelled (Tibet probably, Achala, brass), private collection, photo on HAR 

Or he may be standing on Ganapati or on 2 victims. He normally bites his lower lip with his upper fangs, as can be clearly seen on this example. We will note the skimpy and tight-fitting tiger skin loin cloth (see the page on Wrathful Deities in the left hand side of this blog).

15th century, Tibet, Achala, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, on Hardt (p. 41).The victims are not depicted here.

Undated, Tibet, Achala, metal with cold gold and pigment, at the American Museum of National History in New York (USA).

A singular Achala with the effigy of a buddha (likely to be Akshobhya) on top of his flaming hair, standing on two victims atop a 12th or 13th century-style lotus base, brandishing a sword in his right hand and holding a (missing) lasso slightly away from him, instead of before his heart as would be expected. He is adorned with snakes including a long one across his chest worn as a sacred cord.

16th century, Tibet, Achala and consort, stone, private collection, photo by Holly’s International.Chandamaharoshana Achala with one head and two hands, in which he holds a sword and a noose, half kneeling and half crouching, in embrace with his consort, who has both legs around his waist and holds a skull cup and a flaying knife. The above has a human appearance and wears princely accessories.

18th century, Tibet, Achala and Dveshavajri, copper alloy, collection of the Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami (USA), photo on Bridgeman

This one has a  fierce yaksha appearance and is adorned with snakes. His consort wears bone ornaments.

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Tibet, Mahakala – Shadbhuja (10)

12th-14th century, Tibet, Mahakala, black chlorite, private collection, photo on Aguttes , Arts d’Asie 11th December 2017.

A rare stone stele of Mahakala with six arms, standing with his legs apart, treading on Ganapati and holding a flaying knife and a skull cup in his main hands. There is a rosary of skulls in his top right hand and a lasso in his lower left hand, the upper right hand would have held a trident or a ritual staff, the lower right hand held a drum. This form of shadbhuja Mahakala has a blue body on paintings.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Mahakala, clay, private collection, photo on Aguttes as before.

An unusual clay example with Ganapati seated in an awkward position, facing the viewer and holding his right hand palm out. Mahakala stands in a fighting posture and has a ritual staff in his upper left hand.

17th century, Tibet, Mahakala, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo on  Navin Kumar .

A Chinese-style image of him standing straight, adorned with a celestial scarf with serpentine ends, dressed in a long lower garment made of two layers of fine cloth with a lacy edge, topped with a tiger skin knotted at the front.

Circa 18th century, Tibet, Mahakala, bronze with pigments, Science Museum Group Collection (UK), photo here .

We get a clearer picture of four of the attributes here and we can see that the upper hands also hold an elephant hide stretched across his back and that he is adorned with a garland of severed heads, a five-skull crown and some jewellery. Ganapati holds a skull cup in his right hand.

18th century, Tibet, Shadbhuja Mahakala, gilt bronze with polychromy, private collection, photo on Tajan , Art d’Asie, 11th June 2018.

On this late Chinese-style work his tiger skin loin cloth is worn with the tail of the animal reaching the base (see the “tiger-skin loin cloth” subsection of the page on Wrathful Deities in the left-hand side of this blog).

Tibet, Avalokiteshvara – four arms (23)

13th century, Tibet, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, brass with cold gold and pigments, private collection, photo on Bonhams .

An early brass sculpture of the most popular four-arm form of Avalokiteshvara, who holds a wish-granting gem at heart level in his main hands, a rosary and a lotus (or lotus bud in this case) in the others.

13th-14th century, Tibet, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, brass with silver-inlaid eyes and copper-inlaid lips, traces of cold gold, private collection, photo on Van Ham 2016  .

14th-15th century, Tibet, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, brass with cold gold and pigments, private collection, photo on Barnebys .

15th century, Tibet, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, bronze, private collection, photo on  Hardt 2019

This one has a large effigy of Amitabha on top of his Indian-style braided chignon.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, copper alloy with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Koller, sale W245AS.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo on Drouot, sale 10th October 2017.

The antelope skin over his left shoulder is not specific to this form of Avalokiteshvara but appears from time to time. The above has Kirtimukha at the front of his crown.

Tibet, Jambhala – various forms (4)

13th-14th century, Tibet, Black Jambhala, bronze, private collection, photo on Hardt

Black Jambhala, standing on Ganapati, a mongoose in his left hand and a skull cup in the other.

18th century, Tibet, Black Jambhala (labelled ‘Green Jambhala), stone, private collection, photo on AguttesIn most cases he holds the animal head down so that it disgorges jewels onto the base.

18th century, Tibet, (Black) Jambhala, gilt bronze, private collection, photo on Hardt 

Naked, ithyphallic and always adorned with snakes, he is also known as Dimbla or Ucchusma Jambhala. Instead of crushing the elephant-headed deity he may stand on a human victim, neither of which appear on this more recent work.

Unlabelled (Tibet?, brass with silver eyes and copper lips and hem), private collection, photo on HAR  

White Jambhala may ride a dragon sideways and hold a jewel-spitting mongoose under his left arm, in which case his right hand would wield a sword or hold a stick (missing here).

17th century, Tibet, Jambhala, gilt copper alloy with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo on Casa d’Aste

He may also mount a snow lion but when he holds a mongoose in his left hand he normally has a sword in the other.

18th century, Tibet, Jambhala, bronze, private collection, photo on LeclèreYellow Jambhala, with a peaceful yaksha appearance, seated at ease on a throne covered with a cloth, holding his mongoose in his left hand and a citron in the other.

18th century, Tibet, Jambhala, silver with turquoise inlay on a gilt copper alloy base, private collection, photo on HardtHe often has his right foot on a vase of abundance attached to the base.

Tibet, Avalokiteshara – standing (16)

A new page called “The Guge style and related works” has been published as a subsection of the “Comparing Works” page, in the left hand side of this blog, including the first image in this post.

11th-12th century, Western Tibet, Guge, Avalokiteshvara, bronze (brass), private collection, photo on Hardt

The metal sculptures made by Kashmiri artists for the Guge kingdom during the 11th and 12th century display the usual athletic chest, narrow waist, cruciform navel, silver-inlaid eyes so characteristic of Kashmiri art, combined with a series of unique features…

such as the large and full face with small fleshy lips and a marked chin, the garland of flowers …

… the richly and deeply incised dhoti, shorter on one side, the prominent knee caps. The above has an effigy of Amitabha at the front of his crown, an antelope skin over his left shoulder, a long-stemmed lotus in his left hand, no armlets. His right hand does the fear-allaying gesture.

12th century, Tibet, (Avalokiteshvara) Padmapani, bronze, private collection, photo on Hardt

Avalokiteshvara with the right hand doing the gesture of supreme generosity

12th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, bronze, private collection, photo on Hardt

With his left hand doing a gesture to bestow refuge.

12th-13th century, Tibet, (Avalokiteshvara) Padmapani, bronze, private collection, photo by Koller.

This brass sculpture, probably made in Western Tibet, depicts him with a small water pot in his right hand and an effigy of Amitabha at the base of his chignon.

13th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, bronze, private collection, photo on Hardt

The treatment of the eyes on this dark bronze is reminiscent of Swat Valley works, and so is the fan-shaped hairstyle.

13th century, Tibet or Ladakh, Avalokiteshvara, bronze on a modern base, private collection, photo by Michael Backman

This one, on the other hand, is very similar to an 11th-12th century padmapani attributed to Ladakh by Koller seen here

17th-18th century, Tibet, (Avalokiteshvara) Padmapani, gilt bronze, photo on VAN HAM.

The design of the lotus in Avalokiteshvara’s left hand, the shape of his body and the colour of the gilding are the same as on various early Nepalese sculptures seen in previous posts.

18th century, Tibet, (Avalokiteshvara) Padmapani, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo on Hardt

This figure with a doll-like body has a large Kirtimukha on the front of his crown, just like a silver Maitreya seen here

 

Tibet, Manjushri – various forms (5)

Regarding the first item below, see the new page (left-hand column of this blog) on the Ngari style and related works attributed to Western Tibet ateliers.

13th century, Tibet, Manjushri, brass, at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum, Mumbai (India), photo on Photo Dharma

White Manjushri, standing, holding the stem of a blue lotus (utpala) that supports the Prajnaparamita manuscript, his right hand held palm out to express generosity.

13th century, Tibet, Manjushri, bronze, private collection, photo on Hardt

Instead, he may have both hands doing the ‘turning the wheel of dharma‘ gesture.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Koller, sale W249AS.

From the 13th century onwards White Manjushri is often depicted with the hilt of a sword emerging from another lotus, to his right. In such case, he is usually seated and his hands do the dharmacakra gesture.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt bronze with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Nagel, sale 736 China 3.

A singular sculpture of him seated at ease and  leaning on his right arm, the right hand holding the stem of a blue lotus that supports the hilt of a sword, the left hand holding a book at heart level.

Circa 14th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt copper alloy with gems and pigment, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

Vadisimha Manjushri, seated on a lion  with his legs locked, the hands turning the wheel of dharma, the lotuses that hold the hilt of a sword and a book fastened to his elbows.

11th century, Western Tibet, Manjushri, bronze, Indian artist commissioned by the Guge kingdom, photo by T. Pritzker, published by Ulrich von Schroeder in 108 Buddhist Statues in Tibet.

An early example of Manjushri standing and wielding a sword, holding the stem of a lotus in his left hand that may or may not have supported a book.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Manjushri, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Lempertz.

Both the arapachana and the sthiracakra forms of Manjushri sit in the vajra position, brandishing a sword in the right hand and holding a book in the other, close to the heart. No lotus. On paintings, the former is white and the latter is orange (saffron).

17th-18th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt copper alloy with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

A more common form, wielding a sword and holding a lotus that supports the manuscript.

13th century, Tibet, Manjuvajra, gilt copper repoussé, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

A figure with three heads and six hands, the main ones crossed over his heart palm inwards (no vajra sceptre or vajra bell visible), the upper ones holding a sword and a lotus, the middle ones holding a vajra sceptre and visvajra – not associated with Manjuvajra, who normally has a  bow and an arrow in two of his hands. He wears a helmet, princely jewellery, a scarf and long lower garment decorated with an incised motif, plus a plain one on top that stops at knee level.

15th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt metal with turquoise inlay, Sonam Gyaltsen and atelier, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources

Manjuvajra Manjushri with one head and four hands, the lower ones would have held a bow and an arrow, the others hold a blue lotus and a (missing) book.

Tibet, Jigten Sumgon (Rinchen Pel)

13th century, Tibet, Jigten Sumgon, copper alloy with cold gold, private collection, photo by Andre Lau for Hollywood Galleries .

A brass sculpture of the founder of the Drigung Kagyu school in full monastic attire, one of his bare feet uncovered, his right hand calling Earth to witness, the other held in the meditation gesture, like the historical buddha.

13th century, Tibet, Jigten Sumgon, gilt copper alloy, photo by Bruce M. White, at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York (USA).

Quite a different style, with gilding yet wearing patched garments.

13th century, Tibet, Jigten Sumgon, copper alloy with cold gold, at the Musée Guimet in Paris (France) photo by P. Pleynet, published on issuu

Seated in the same pose, on a stepped lion throne with stone-inlaid visvajras at the top and on the plinth, its backplate or prabhamandala decorated with viyalas, makaras and a garuda at the top…

… a vajra sceptre placed before him on the lotus base.

13th century, Tibet, Jigten Sumgon, gilt copper with cold gold, turquoise, lapis lazuli, glass, is or was at Lhasa (Tibet), published by Ulrich von Schroeder, photo on issuu.

This type of throne seems to have been particularly popular in Tibet during the 13th century to give prestige to famous lamas.