Tibet, Shakyamuni with vajra sceptre (4)

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Nagel.

The iconography is the same as for Akshobhya in his buddha appearance: the left hand cupped in meditation, the right hand touching the ground (calling Earth to witness his enlightenment). A vajra sceptre is placed before him on the lotus base.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, copper alloy with silver inlay and pigments, private collection on Himalayan Art Resources.

The above wears a patched robe with silver-inlaid seams.

The back of the robe has been given the same finish and the row of petals continue at the back of the base.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy) with pigments, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

The size of the vajra sceptre varies a lot.

16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, brass with copper-inlaid hem,  private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Sometimes only the upper half of the attribute is showing.

Undated (circa 16th century), (Tibet), Shakyamuni, bronze and pigments, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

This buddha has painted facial features and blue pigment in his hair, the hem of his sanghati is decorated with a geometrical pattern.

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

The vajra sceptre here is very small yet noticeable because the lower end of the buddha’s robe is not spread over the base.

16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Hayman Himalayan Art.

Occasionally a thin piece of the inner garment can be seen but it is unusual for it to be incised, in this case with a fine grain pattern which contrasts with the double row of thick beading on the outer robe. The vajra is placed quite close to his feet and almost merges with the fabric.

16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, copper alloy with copper inlay, private collection, photo by Koller.

Undated, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt silver, published in Sattvas and Rajas, the Culture and Art of Tibetan Buddhism, photo on Himalayan Art Resources.

On this silver sculpture the vajra is placed on the rim of the lotus base. The hem of his sanghati is decorated with a stippled and incised geometrical pattern between two rows of beading.

Undated, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt metal, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

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Tibet, Shakaymuni – seated (18)

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Koller.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Koller.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper with cold gold and pigments, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

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

15th-16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Nagel.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, copper alloy with cold gold, at the Newark Museum (USA).

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

15th-16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Mossgreen.

Circa 16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper and pigments, is or was at the Jokhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, copper alloy with cold gold, private collection, photo by Koller.

Tibet, Yama (3)

15th century, Tibeto-Chinese, Yama, gilt copper alloy with pigments, private collection, photo by Rossi & Rossi.

Wrathful deities made by Tibetan artists for a Chinese patron often include heavy beaded jewellery with ornate festoons and pendants and matching accessories covering most of the subject’s body – concealing his ithyphallic nature.

18th century, Tibet, Yama Dharmaraja, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Rob Michiels.

When the sculpture is complete, Yama normally stands on a male buffalo over a victim lying on a lotus pedestal.

Apart from bone jewellery and accessories he wears a garland of severed heads. His skull crown may have three instead of five skulls.

18th century, Tibet, Yama, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

On this rare sculpture the buffalo, victim and pedestal are made of dark copper alloy, with traces of red pigment.

18th century, Tibet, Yama, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonham’s.

When depicted alone he wields a skull-tipped club or stick in his right hand and has a lasso in the other, his hand held in the corresponding wrathful gesture.

Known as karana mudra the gesture consists in the little finger and the forefinger being erect while the tip of the middle finger presses the tip of the thumb.

18th century, Tibet, Yama, solid gold, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

 

 

Tibet, Shakyamuni – seated (17)

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Koller.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy) with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Koller.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, published on buddhist-art.info.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Koller.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Tibet, Shakyamuni – seated (16)

16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, stone, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

The historical buddha is surrounded by five figures, probably the five tathagatas. He holds a begging bowl in his left hand and touches the earth with the other.

Undated (circa 13th century?), Tibet, Shakaymuni, at a mountain sanctuary, photo on Himalayan Art Resources.

This brass sculpture with a copper-inlaid hem and a tall double-lotus base with plump petals belongs to a group of early Tibetan Pala-style works with very harmonious lines and proportions.

The buddha’s chignon is topped with a rare flaming finial indicating the moment of enlightenment. His eyes and urna are inlaid with silver and his lips with copper.

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

This figure, complete with begging bowl, sits on a rare double lotus base topped with a row of stamens, no beading, the two levels separated by a plain band in the middle. The buddha himself as an unusually elongated chignon topped with a large lotus bud finial. The hem of his sanghati is decorated with an incised geometrical pattern.

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

Here there is a vajra sceptre in front of him  on the base (and a bowl in his left hand).

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper, is or was at the Jokhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

This rare work depicts him with a lotus bud under his middle finger.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

The iconography is the same for Akshobhya…

but the embossed lotus-like wheels on the sole of his feet identify him as Shakyamuni.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Xanadu.

Tibet, Tsongkhapa (4)

Circa 1423, Tibet, Ganden Chokor Monastery, Tsongkhapa, gilt copper alloy, in The Mystical Arts of Tibet, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

The founder of the Gelugpa order may be depicted under various forms. The main one is that of a monk seated in the vajra position, wearing a pandita hat, his hands turning the wheel of dharma.

15th century, Tibet, Tsongkhapa, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

He holds the stem of two lotuses, one supporting the hilt of a sword and the other a manuscript.

The above flaming sword is made of silver or iron and the manuscript is made of lapis lazuli.

His heavy patched robe is decorated with an engraved floral pattern, stippled, engraved and beaded hems.

15th century, Tibet, Tsongkhapa, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Bonhams.

On early sculptures one of the lotuses may of the blue variety (utpala), which never fully opens.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Tsongkhapa, gilt copper repoussé and cast parts, at the Freer Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC (USA).

When he is not wearing the pointed cap of the Gelugpa order, his hair is often dyed black. The above has cold gold and pigments on his face. He holds the stem of fully open lotuses fastened at shoulder level.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Tsongkhapa, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Lempertz.

In many cases the lotuses have leaves or tendrils that spring from his elbows

18th century, Tibet, Tsongkhapa, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

The manuscript to his left may be topped with a flaming pearl.

 

 

Tibet, various paired deities

15th-16th century, Tibet, Chemchok Heruka with consort, bronze (copper alloy) and cold gold, private collection, photo by Lempertz.

Chemchok Heruka is the Tibetan name for a form of Shri Heruka with three heads and six hands, 4 legs and 2 wings. He embraces his consort (who has one head, two arms and two legs) and holds a vajra sceptre in each right hand, a skull cup in each left hand (on paintings he may have different attributes). The faces are painted with cold gold and the hair and eyebrows with red pigment. They are adorned with crowns and princely jewellery inlaid with turquoise. They stand on two victims.

14th century, Tibet, Densatil or Densatil-style, Buddhakapala and Citrasena, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This meditational deity may be alone or with a consort. He has one head with three eyes, four hands, two legs. She has one head, two hands, two legs, one of them around his waist, and is naked. He wears the wrathful ornaments, including a five-skull crown and a garland of 50 severed heads, and holds a skull cup and a flaying knife in his main hands crossed over her back, a drum and a ritual staff in the remaining ones.

14th century, Tibet, Buddhakapala and consort, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

They each stand on a leg over a victim.

She holds a skull cup and a flaying knife.

18th century, Tibet, Chitipati, painted terracotta, at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York (USA).

Apart from the dancing skeletons seen on bone aprons used for the Cham dance, there is another pair of dancing skeleton known as Chitipati (Shri Shmashana Adhipati in sanskrit). This ‘father and mother’ pair have a frightful skeletal form, with three eyes and protruding fangs. They stand in a dancing posture, are adorned with a skull crown and hold a skull cup and a skull-tipped stick. In some cases, she holds a long-life vase and a stalk of grain on a stick, as above. She wears a garland of skull and he wears a garland of freshly severed heads, as is often the case with paired deities with a wrathful appearance.

17th-18th century, Tibet or Himalayas, Citipati or Kinkara, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

For the sake of comparison, this dancing skeleton is unlikely to be part of a Chitipati set since he is alone. Besides, he only has two eyes, isn’t adorned with wrathful ornaments, and his left hand doesn’t seem to have held any attribute. He wears an interesting cape with a cloud pattern, of the sort we have seen on Padmasambhava works of more or less the same period.