Tibet, Phagpa Lokeshvara – variants (3)

Undated, Tibet or Nepal, probably wood (with cold gold and pigments), at the Potala in Lhasa, photo in article on asianart.com by Ian Alsop.

One of the many reproductions of the original Nepalese image of Avalokiteshvara thought to have been brought to Lhasa during the 7th century and known as Phagpa Lokeshvara. He has a moon-like face, typical of Tibetan sculptures, and a small raised effigy at the front of his crown.

Unlabelled (Tibet or Nepal, wood with pigments), photo on  HAR 

Also with Tibetan facial features, coiffed with a tall crown made of three thin leaves of equal height, unlike most of the others we have seen so far, his folded hair showing on each side; there is an effigy of himself at the front, a feature unique to this form of Avalokiteshvara. He wears the usual large bell-shaped lotus earrings, knotted sash and floral belt. Two noteworthy ornaments are his long beaded necklace and some armlets placed very low down, possibly to hide the joint at elbow level.

13th century, place of origin unknown, Phagpa Lokeshvara, zitan (red sandalwood), private collection, photo on Sotheby’s

Despite the absence of the corresponding body this rather stern and tight-lipped head is interesting because of the effigy at the front of the crown.

The miniature Phagpa Lokeshvara has soft Tibetan facial features, with large eyes and fleshy lips, and as he doesn’t wear a crown we can see the intricacy of his topknot.

Circa 16th century, Tibet, Phagpa Lokeshvara, wood (with traces of gilding), private collection, photo on Koller

We came across one case with the arm out of place and subsequently restored to its original state. Koller tell us that the statue’s right arm has been repaired and this is probably why he is doing the fear-allaying gesture, which does not correspond to this form of Avalokiteshvara.

He has uncharacteristic Chinese-style slanted eyes and eyebrows and wears a plain crown and elaborate lotiform earrings.

17th-18th century, Tibet, gilt wood with polychromy, private collection, photo on Marques Dos Santos 

Standing on a lotus pedestal rather than on a square base, his skin painted with cold gold, his mass of hair bulkier and nearly reaching the tallest part of the crown.

A photo taken at a different angle of what appears to be the same sculpture can be seen on Astamangala . On it, the hair doesn’t seem to go above the tip of the side leaves of the crown and the lotus base hasn’t been stripped. There seems to be painted pattern on his dhoti.

 

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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.

Gandhara culture, Maitreya (4)

2nd-3rd century, Gandhara, Maitreya, schist, private collection, photo on  Tajan .

Maitreya, identified by the ritual water pot he holds by the neck, his strangely child-like face contrasting with his squarish torso and broad shoulders. He is adorned with the usual choker and strings of beads, one of them worn across the right shoulder, another worn across the chest, large earrings, armlets, bracelets, and a scarf that covers his left shoulder and his right elbow.

circa 3rd-4th century, Gandhara, Maitreya, schist, private collection, photo on Lapada

A rather plump figure without a moustache, his wavy hair gathered in a bun, holding a pot shaped like a blue lotus (upside-down) with his left hand and doing the fear-allaying gesture with the other.

3rd-5th century, Gandhara, Maitreya, stucco, private collection, photo on Gazette Drouot.

Yet again a different style, with an elaborate headdress and no beaded ornaments across his shoulder or his chest, the kundika missing from his hands. His pleated scarf covers most of the right arm, forms a loop over his ankles and ends over his left wrist.

Undated, Gandhara, Maitreya, schist, private collection, photo on Gazette Drouot

A rare sculpture of him seated on a throne supported by pillars and featuring a scene with a seated bodhisattva (possibly himself) at the centre and a kneeling devotee on each side. He wears a turban and a large fan-shaped ornament with a protruding element at the front (which is sometimes construed as a stupa but also appears on sculptures of Avalokiteshvara, for more details see Pratapaditya Pal ).

3rd-4th century, Gandhara, Maitreya, schist, private collection, photo on Bonhams .

This bodhisattva could also be Avalokiteshvara holding a (now lost) lotus as we saw here but Bonhams tell us that the ribbons across the halo are specific to Maitreya. We saw one from the  Met with long serpentine ribbons on his halo.

3rd century, Gandhara, Maitreya, schist, private collection, photo on Oise Enchères 

The buddha of the future with a large head, short legs and squarish feet, standing on a square base decorated with a four-petal floral motif.

3rd-4th century, Gandhara, Maitreya, schist, private collection, photo by Galerie Zacke on Gazette Drouot

With generous facial features, his hair tied in two soft loops falling on each side of his head, wearing a skirt-like lower garment pleated on one side and the usual jewellery, except for the beads across the right shoulder. He stands on a pedestal supported by columns and decorated with large flowers. His ritual pot is shaped like a lotus bud. The upper garment is tucked under the left arm and forms an elegant loop across his thighs before coming to rest over the right arm.

Western Himalayas, various bodhisattvas (2)

Circa 11th century, Western Himalayas? (labelled ‘Kashmir’), Avalokiteshvara, bronze with silver-inlaid eyes and copper-inlaid lips, cold gold, private collection, photo by Nagel, sale 105 China 1.

A mixed-style statue of Avalokiteshvara, lotus in hand, an antelope skin over his left shoulder and the effigy of Amitabha at the front of his crown. He has the well-developed torso typical of Kashmiri works but not the characteristic cruciform navel. Other noteworthy features are the Ladakhi-style earrings and crown, the scallop-shape hair bunch and the way his celestial scarf flows upwards on one side and downwards on the other (something we saw once on a 9th-10th century brass sculpture from Kashmir). His right hand does the gesture of supreme generosity.

Unlabelled (Western Himalayas?), Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy, private collection), photo on Himalayan Art Resources

A fairly similar image with Kashmiri-style body proportions, athletic torso and cruciform navel. The wide-open eyes and square urna (both inlaid with silver), squarish jaw, strong chin and chubby cheeks depart from Kashmiri standards. He wears a long Indian-style stripy dhoti with a stippled motif, a beaded sacred cord and matching belt. He holds a rosary in his right hand.

Circa 10th-11th century, Western Himalayas, Manjushri (labelled ‘Padmapani’), bronze, private collection, photo by Nagel, auction 101 China 1.

This character, who stands in an awkward position, holds a blue lotus topped with a manuscript, which identifies him as Manjushri. He has a very large raised urna on his forehead and matching nipples and is adorned with a single foliate hair ornament, a foliate garland and a belt with a chased geometrical motif, no jewellery.

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, Maitreya (6)

12th-13th century, Tibet or Nepal, Maitreya, brass with silver and copper inlay, private collection, photo on VAN HAM

Maitreya, holding a water pot in the palm of his left hand and the stem of a blue lotus in the other, his eyes inlaid with silver, the festoons of his belt, his armlets and sacred cord made of silver beading, his lips inlaid with copper. His stupa-shaped chignon is topped with a lotus bud finial.

15th century, Tibet, Maitreya, bronze with silver, copper and stone inlay, private collection, photo on Hardt

Probably made in a Tsang province atelier, this sculpture depicts him seated in the vajra position, his hands turning the wheel of dharma symbolically and holding the stem of lotuses, one of them supporting a ritual water pot.  He has a stupa in his headdress.

His eyes are inlaid with silver and copper, his jewellery with lapis lazuli and turquoise cabochons.

15th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt copper with stone inlay, private collection?, photo on GG-ART

16th-17th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt bronze with cold gold, stones and pigment, private collection, photo by Van Ham as before, sale 17th December 2017.

With no stupa or kundika, Maitreya is identified by the position of his hands.

15th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt copper alloy with stone and glass inlay, private collection, photo by Koller, sale A189AS.

Seated with his legs pendent, the feet placed on a lotus attached to the throne.