Tibet, Chakrasamvara – various forms (3)

17th century, Tibet, White Chakrasamvara (labelled Amitayus), gilt copper alloy with turquoise inlay, at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston (USA).

Rarely seen in sculpture, the white form of Chakrasamvara has one head with three eyes, two hands, two legs, and is always seated with the consort (on paintings they may be standing).  She holds two skull cups and he holds two long-life vases.

16th century, Southern Tibet or Nepal, Chakrasamvara, copper alloy, at the Art Institute of Chicago (USA).

This rare works depicts another form, with one head and four arms, standing with his consort, her legs wrapped around his waist. He holds a drum and a ritual staff in the upper hands, a vajra sceptre and a bell in the main ones across her back. Vajrayogini wears an intricate bone apron fastened with a belt with raining jewels and a garland of skulls. He wears a long garland of severed heads around his neck.

Undated, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, copper alloy, at the Tibet House museum in New Delhi, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

A very similar image, possibly from the same period and which may also have had a tall plinth below.

14th-15th century, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

This Densatil-style sculpture depicts him with four heads and six hands. The upper ones hold the legs of an elephant (whose hide he usually wears across his back), the middle ones hold a bell and what looks like a noose (although one would expect a thunderbolt sceptre), the remaining hands hold a drum and a skull cup.

Undated (16th century circa), Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt metal, at a mountain sanctuary, published on Himalayan Art Rsources.

Most sculptures of Chakrasamvara depict him in his four-head and twelve-hand form, with Vajrayogini, his feet over two victims and holding a series of attributes discussed in previous posts. She may have one or both legs around his waist.

Tibet, Chakrasamvara – Sahaja Heruka (4)

Late 15th century, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt copper with pigment and stone inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This form of the deity has one head and two arms and stands with the consort, Vajrayogini, their legs in the same position (as in the Newar tradition).

His hair is tied in a chignon topped with a wish-granting jewel and he usually has a visvajra and a crescent moon in his headdress.

She holds a skull cup and a flaying knife, and wears a leopard skin loin cloth and a garland of skulls; he wears a tiger skin and a garland of freshly severed heads and holds a vajra sceptre and a bell across her back.

Undated, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, copper alloy with pigment and cold gold, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

On this more archaic work the low skull-tiara reveals a large visvajra in his headdress and a small crescent moon to his left-hand side.

16th century, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt copper, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

His consort has both legs around his waist, a Tibetan variant attributed to the teachings of various Mahasiddhas such as Luipa and Maitripa (as explained by John C. Huntington and Dina Bangdel in The Circle of Bliss, Serindia Publications, Chicago, 2003).

Between the 15th and 17th century it is not uncommon for deities, whether seated or standing, to have billowing scarves forming an arch around them.

Undated (16th-17th century?), Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt metal and pigment, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Tibet, Chakrasamvara – 12 hands (4)

16th century, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

The deity and his consort stand on two victims, over a single lotus base with an unusual petal arrangement and geometrical incisions between two rows of beading.

He has four heads with three eyes and twelve arms, she has one head and two arms. They both wear skull crowns and turquoise-inlaid jewellery. He has a crescent moon and an effigy of buddha Akshobhya in his headdress and large earrings shaped like four-petal flowers recalling visvajras (double thunderbolt sceptres).

Same as before, photo by Christie’s.

They hold the usual attributes, skull cup and flaying knife for her, elephant hide, drum, axe, flaying knife, vajra sceptre, trident, for him in his right hands, elephant hide, staff, skull cup, noose, Brahma’s head on the other side.

16th century, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Nagel auctions.

Vajrayogini usually stands on one leg and holds the other around his waist.

16th century, Western Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt copper alloy and pigments, at the Musée Guimet in Paris (France).

He normally has black or bluish hair but this one has red hair.

16th century, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt copper alloy and pigments, private collection, source unquoted, published on 1bp.blogspot.com.

On this and the previous example the consort has both legs around his waist, a feature observed on 16th and 16th-17th century works (and associated with the Luipa tradition).

Same as before, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Her hair is often painted with red pigment.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, wood and pigment, private collection, photo by Koller.

 

 

Tibet, Chakrasamvara – 12 arms (3)

15th century, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt copper, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

Standing on two victims, Chakrasamvara with four heads and twelve hands embraces his consort, Vajrayogini, who has one head and two hands.

Same, brass, at the Fondation Alain Bordier in Gruyère (Switzerland).

He holds a vajra sceptre and a bell in his main hands crossed over her back, she holds a vajra-handled flaying knife and a skull cup (but may hold two vajras instead), and wears a bone apron and a garland of skulls.

Same as before, photo by Anne Lozes.

He holds the hide of an elephant stretched across his back and wears a garland of 50 freshly severed human heads.

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

His remaining right hands hold an axe, a drum, a flaying knife and a trident, the left hands hold a skull cup, a noose, a staff, Brahma’s head with four faces.

Same, photo by Koller.

The order may vary but the lower hands normally hold the trident and Brahma’s head.

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

He often has a crescent moon in his headdress, to his left-hand side.

Tibet, Chakrasamvara – 12 arms (2)

14th century, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, ivory, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

In his 12-arm form, Chakrasamvara may have one or four heads and be depicted alone or with his consort, Vajrayogini. He always has two legs, standing on Kalaratri and Bhairava who represent ego and ignorance.

15th century circa, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Rossi & Rossi.

His top hands hold the hide of an elephant stretched across his back.

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

His other hands hold various attributes. These may differ from but normally include a thunderbolt sceptre and a bell, which he has in his main hands crossed over Vajrayogini’s back when depicted with her.

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

The above holds a wheel on a lotus instead of a thunderbolt sceptre.

Same as before, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

The other attributes usually are a drum, a flaying knife, an axe and a trident in his other right hands; a hook, a staff, a skull cup, a noose, and Brahma’s head with four faces in the remaining left hands.

Same, source not quoted, published on blogspot.com.

Following the tradition, she wears a garland of skulls and he wears a garland of freshly severed human heads.

 

 

Pala India, Chakrasamvara

 

12th century, Northeast India, Chakrasamvara, copper alloy, private collection, published in revistaelbosco.blogspot.com

12th century, Northeast India, Chakrasamvara, copper alloy, private collection, published in revistaelbosco.blogspot.com.

In his 4 head+2 leg+12 hand version, Chakrasamvara stands on two victims on a lotus base, embracing his consort with his main hands in which he holds a thunderbolt and a bell. His upper hands hold the two feet and ankles of an elephant hide. The other right hands hold a drum, an axe, a flaying knife and a stick topped with a half vajra, the left hands hold a skull cup, a noose, Bhrama’s head with four faces, a ritual staff.

12th century, Northeast India, Samvara, copper alloy with copper and silver inlay, private collection, photo by Christie's.

12th century, Northeast India, Samvara, copper alloy with copper and silver inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

12th-c-india-ne-samvara-c-a-sil-c-inlaid-neckalce-sil-fangs-c-lips-146-cm-4-head-12-arms-garland-of-heads-close-up

Here, the whole elephant hide is stretched across his back and the head of the animal dangles to his right. He is alone, dressed in a lower garment made from the skin of a leopard (indicated by incised stars) held in place with a belt, and adorned with a sacred thread, a garland of severed heads, silver-inlaid tiaras and jewellery. He has copper-inlaid lips and eyes, silver-inlaid fangs. He holds the same implements as before but those to his left are in a different order.

 

Nepal, paired deities

16th-17th century, Nepal, Chakrasamvara, gilt copper, private collection, photo by Koller.

16th-17th century, Nepal, Chakrasamvara, gilt copper, private collection, photo by Koller.

Chakrasamvara, in his sahaja heruka form, holds a bell and a thunderbolt in his hands across Vajravarahi’s back, adorned with a garland of severed heads, a crown and jewellery, a serrated halo attached to his back. She holds a skull cup and a flaying knife and wears a bone apron with severed heads fastened to it. The couple stands over victims.

17th century, Nepal, Chakrasamvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie's.

17th century, Nepal, Chakrasamvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

On this example, she holds a thunderbolt and a skull cup.

18th century circa, Nepal, same as before.

18th century circa, Nepal, same as before.

This is Chakrasamvara with four heads and twelve hands (in which he holds various attributes), adorned with several garlands of severed heads, embracing the consort and standing on two victims (likely to be Kalaratri and Bhairava).

18th century, Nepal, same as before.

18th century, Nepal, same as before.

The same figure without his consort, standing on Kalaratri and Bhairava.

17th century, Nepal, Kalachakra, gilt copper alloy with turquoise and garnet inlay, at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne (Australia).

17th century, Nepal, Kalachakra, gilt copper alloy with turquoise and garnet inlay, at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne (Australia).

Kalachakra (the wheel of time), with four heads and 24 hands – in which he holds various attributes – embraces his consort, both standing on two victims (Kamadeva and Rudra) on a lotus pedestal with an incised lower rim. The flaming arch behind them is decorated with a row of vajras and studded with turquoise.