Tibet, unidentified bodhisattvas (3)

11th century, Central Tibet, bodhisattva, at the Tibet Museum in Lhasa, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

This bodhisattva does the gesture to hold flowers (kataka mudra) with both hands. He wears an early Nepalese-style foliate crown and a broad sash across the chest.

12th-13th century, Tibet, bodhisattva, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

In the absence of any specific attribute, the lotuses on each side of this character are not enough to identify him.

14th century, Central Tibet, bodhisattva, brass, Densatil style, at the Tibet Museum in Lhasa, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

The above has his left hand cupped (gesture of meditation) and does the teaching gesture with the other, holding a pearl or gem between the thumb and forefinger.

 

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Tibet, unidentified bodhisattva (2)

13th-14th century, Tibet, bodhisattva, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

This impressive figure with silver-inlaid eyes and copper-inlaid lips holds the long stem of flowers springing from the base and does the gesture to ward off evil with both hands.

He wears a tall five-leaf crown  inlaid with silver, copper, turquoise and coral.

His long garment is richly decorated with incisions.

His chest is engraved with scrolls and a deity, possibly Vajrayogini.

Tibet, Manjushri with sword (5)

11th century, Western Tibet, Manjushri, copper alloy, private collection, published on http://www.asianartresource.com

The bodhisattva of wisdom brandishes a vajra-tipped sword in one hand and holds the stem of a blue lotus topped with a manuscript in the other. He wears a Ladakhi-style tripartite crown and a long celestial scarf, large floral earrings, beaded jewellery, belt and sacred cord. His dhoti, much shorter on one side, is decorated with an incised geometrical pattern. A large turquoise stone marks the urna on his forehead. He displays Kashmiri features such as the marked pectorals and the cruciform navel.

12th-13th century, Tibet, Manjushri, bronze, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

A Pala-style version of the same deity, wearing a knee-length garment decorated with a stippled floral motif.

Undated, Western Tibet, Manjushri, copper alloy and cold gold, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

This is an example of the  ‘Pala-revival’ style in Tibet, of which there 2 main phases (14th-15th century and 17th-18th century).

 

The sword is broken but the lotus supporting a book topped with a pearl identify Manjushri beyond doubt.

Late 15th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt copper alloy and turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Newar artists from the Kathmandu valley brought with them to Tibet the custom of gilding the sculpture and decorating it with small cabochons. This item also displays Chinese features such as the ample draping of the dhoti and the shawl over the shoulders with loops at elbow level.

 

Tibet, Shadakshari Lokeshvara (14)

Circa 13th century, Tibet, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, brass with copper inlay, cold gold, pigments, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

This Pala-style sculpture depicts Avalokiteshvara in his four-arm form with the main hands clasped at heart level and the others holding a rosary and a lotus respectively. The hem of his long dhoti and part of his accessories are inlaid with copper.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, gilt bronze (copper alloy), traces of lacquer, private collection, Sotheby’s.

A Chinese-style version, with a loosely draped dhoti and a celestial scarf forming loops around the elbow.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Shadakshari Lokeshbara, gitt bronze (copper alloy) with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Lempertz.

This figure has lost its attributes but the position of the hands and the large effigy of Amitabha on top of his head identify him beyond doubt.

Early 16th century, Tibet, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, gilt and silvered copper, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

A rare metal combination for this sculpture, otherwise illustrative of the way Tibetan artists mixed elements from nearby cultures and produce a typically Tibetan work.

The shawl over his shoulders and the large floral earrings are often seen on buddhas and bodhisattvas made in Tibet during the 16th century.

 

 

Tibet, Avalokiteshvara – standing (12)

Circa 13th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Cornette de St Cyr.

Avalokiteshvara, in his padmapani form, holds the stem of a lotus in his left hand and  has an antelope skin over his left shoulder,  knotted across his chest. Instead of doing a symbolic gesture with his right hand as is customary he holds a water pot. This feature is borrowed from Gandharan art, where Maitreya (and sometimes Avalokiteshvara) is often seen holding a water pot by the neck with his left hand.

13th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, bronze (copper alloy) with turquoise added later, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (USA).

A Pala-style padmapani image with the right hand displaying an embossed lotus within an incised diamond.

The artist has given him the pointed nose and stern gaze typical of Pala art, and a squarish face proper to Tibetan works. We may deduce that this sculpture was made by an Indian artists for a Tibetan patron.

13th-14th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara (labelled Manjushri), brass, is or was at the Lima Lakhang in Lhasa (Tibet), published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

This padpamani wears a three-tiered garment inlaid with copper and silver roundels. There is an antelope skin over his left shoulders, with the legs knotted on the other side rather than at the front. The face is painted with cold gold and pigments, the hair is dyed with lapis lazuli powder.

17th-18th c., Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, bronze (brass), private collection, photo by Arthur Millner.

 

Western Himalayas, various bodhisattvas

13th century, Western Himalayas, Vajrapani, brass, is or was at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Standing on a stepped plinth derived from a Kashmiri design, Vajrapani holds a thunderbolt sceptre horizontally in his right hand, the other is placed on his hip. He wears a dhoti shorter on one side and has large knee caps as in Western Tibet. His eyes are slit horizontally in the style of Himachal Pradesh. The nimbus is incised with flames, the rest of the back plate is plain.

13th-14th century, Western Himalayas, Vajrapani, brass, private collection, on Himalayan Art Resources.

Another mixed-style Vajrapani, with a coiffure very similar to that of an Himachal Pradesh Avalokiteshvara seen in a previous post. He wears a long garland and a short dhoti decorated with a stippled motif between stripes. The  flaming arch is topped with a finial.

12th century circa, Western Himalayas, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

The character at the centre of this Pala-style triad is Manjushri, easy to identify through his sword and his blue lotus topped with a manuscript (the Prajnaparamita sutra). His attendants (smaller in size) are Vajrapani, who holds an upright vajra in his right hand and has his left hand against his hip, and, on the other side, Avalokiteshvara in his padmapani form, who holds a lotus as usual but also a water pot in the Gandharan fashion.

Undated, Kashmir or Western Himalayas, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

 

Pala India, various female deities

10th century, Northeast India, Bihar, Vasudhara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

The goddess of wealth is depicted here in her one-head and six-hand form, her upper right hand doing the gesture to accompany music, the one on the other side holding a manuscript. Her middle hands hold raining jewels and a sheaf of rice grain. There is a long-life vase in her lower left hand, the other does the gesture of knowledge. The artist has used silver-inlay for her urna and her longer necklace.

11th century, Northeast India, Vajratara, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

This form of Tara has four heads and eight hands holding various attributes including a vajra, a bow, an arrow, a lotus, a conch shell, a noose.

Her hair is pulled into a single chignon topped with a vajra finial.

11th-12th century, Northeast India, Bengal, Tara, bronze, private collection, published on http://www.the-saleroom.com

This multi-armed (4 or 6?) form appears to hold a a club and a lotus in her upper hands, and a fruit or a gem in the lower right hand.

12th-13th century, Northeast India, Tara, copper alloy, at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford (UK).

White Tara, her legs locked in the vajra position, has three eyes on her face and eyes in the palm of her hands and the sole of her feet. She displays the gesture of supreme generosity with her right hand while bestowing refuge with the other. The stem of a (broken) lotus goes round her left arm and there was another lotus springing from the base to her right side.