Himachal Pradesh, Lalung (3)

Last lot of painted clay sculptures from the Lalung monastery in Himachal Pradesh. Unless otherwise stated, the photos are published on the Western Himalaya Archive Vienna (WHAV) website https://whav.aussereurop.univie.ac.at/ic/4996/

Lalung Serkhang, left wall, overall view, painted clay, photo by Jaroslav Poncar.

The left/northern wall is devoted to Vairocana and depicts the four-head and eight form of the deity at the centre, seated on a lotus supported by two snow lions and a yaksha. Among the foliage around him are two kinnaris, two peacocks and a garuda at the top.

Detail of one of the lions.

Lions may support Shakyamuni’s and Vairocana’s throne.

Lalung Serkhang, left wall, (Vairocana?), photo by Christian Luczanits.

The figure above the garuda has four heads and two hands. It may be another form of Vairocana known as Sarvavid Mahavairocana, whose main hands are normally cupped to hold a wheel or a vajra sceptre.

Lalung Serkhang, left wall, (offering goddess), photo by Christian Luczanits.

Lalung Serkhang, left wall, Tara, painted clay, photo by Christian Luczanits on WHAV.

Lalung Serkhang, left wall, (offering goddess) painted clay, photo by Christian Luczanits on WHAV.

Next to him, Amitabha, with his hands cupped in the meditation gesture, Amoghasiddhi, with his right hand raised to dispel fear, Ratnasambhava, his right hand palm out to display a jewel and, below him, Akshobhya who touches the ground. Above and below are four goddesses identified by Giuseppe Tucci (see previous post) as Pandaravasini, Tara, Mamaki and Lochana.

Lalung Serkhang, left wall, (Ratnasambhava and Akshobhya), photo by C. Luczanits.

Lalung Serkhang, left wall, (offering goddesses), painted clay, photo by Christian Luczanits on WHAV.

Lalung Serkhang, left wall, Vajranrtya, painted clay, photo by Christian Luczanits on WHAV.

Vajranrtya is usually depicted with her right arm in a dancing pose as she is the goddess of dance.

Lalung Serkhang, left wall, (offering goddess), photo by Christian Luczanits on WHAV.

Lalung Serkhang, left wall, (offering goddess), photo by Christian Luczanits on WHAV.

On the outer side are the eight vajra goddesses normally seen on the Vajradhatu mandala, namely Vajraloka, Vajrapushpa, Vajranrtya, Vajragandha, Vajragita, Vajramala, Vajramalasya, Vajradhupa.

Serkhang left/northern wall, extracted from a drawing published on https://archresearch.tugraz.at/results/lalung/

 

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Tibet, celestial musicians

15th century, Tibet, kinnari, gilt copper repoussé (and pigment), private collection, photo by Sotheby’s http://www.sothebys.com/fr/auctions/ecatalogue/lot.215.html/2013/arts-asie-pf1317.

A striking example of a kinnari (female kinnara) on a lotus, adorned with princely jewellery her right hand on her hip, her left hand raised to accompany music.

13th century, Tibet, aureole fragment, (kinnari) gilt copper repoussé, private collection, photo by Nye and Co on http://nyeandcompany.com/auctions/125/gilt-copper-repousse-aureole-fragment-tibet-13th-2999551.html

17th-18th century, Tibet, kinnari, gilt copper repoussé, private collection, photo by Christie’s https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/Lot/a-gilt-copper-repousse-torana-fragment-with-5473052-details.aspx.

17th century, Tibet, Kinnara, bronze, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

In the Himalayas, these celestial musicians are usually half human and half bird.

17th century, Tibet, kinnara, gilt copper alloy repoussé, private collection, photo by Bonhams https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/20903/lot/161/.

Like garudas, they may be featured at the front of Amoghasiddhi’s throne.

14th century, Tibet, Kinnara, metal with stone inlay, at the Capital Museum in Beijing, photo on Himalayan Art Resources https://www.himalayanart.org/items/59844.

In Tibet, they may have a human appearance and a horse’s head on their own. This one plays a string instrument with both hands.

17th century, Tibet, Kinnara, gilt copper repoussé, private collection, photo by Christie’s https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/Lot/a-large-gilt-copper-repousse-figure-of-5182966-details.aspx/.

The above holds the instrument in his left hand and does the teaching gesture with the other.

 

 

 

Tibet, various mythical creatures

(See also the page on mythical creatures and animals in the left-hand side of this blog)

18th-19th century, Tibet, Kirtimukha, gilt copper, private collection, photo by Chiswick Auctions https://chiswickauctions.co.uk/lot/180904-lot-576/.

Sometimes at the top of an arch/back plate instead of a garuda, Kirtimukha holds with both hands the vegetation he is devouring (in Nepal it may be a snake).

18th century or earlier, Tibet, Kirtimukha (labelled ‘makara’), gilt copper repoussé, private collection, photo by Skinner https://m.skinnerinc.com/auctions/2246/lots/920.

He may have a crescent moon and sun disc between his horns, and jewels on his chin.

The garuda at the top of an arch holds a long snake (missing here) in his beak and claws.

Circa 13th century, Tibet, makara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Michael Backman Ltd http://www.michaelbackmanltd.com/archived_objects/gilded-tibetan-makara-circa-13th-century/.

16th century, Tibet, makara, gilt copper repoussé, private collection, photo by Christie’s https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/Lot/element-de-halo-en-cuivre-dore-repousse-5804399-details.aspx.

Circa 15th century, Tibet, makara, gilt copper repoussé, private collection, photo by Bonhams https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/20479/lot/181/.

16th-17th century, Nepal or Tibet, makara, copper repoussé, at the Art Institute of Chicago, photo on http://www.flickriver.com/photos/mharrsch/tags/tibet/.In Tibet and Nepal makaras are also a recurrent feature on the arch behind a main deity. They are usually situated towards the top, below naga kings and the figure at the apex (a garuda or Kirtimukha).

13th century, Tibet, Viyala, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

On the same arches, two viyalas may be standing on two elephants on the lower part of the panel.

Undated, Tibet, snow lioness and horse, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo on https://www.skinnerinc.com/auctions/2992B/lots/38.

Alternatively, the elephant may support a snow lion or lioness who, in turn, supports a horse or another animal on which a boy is seated.

Undated, Tibet, Densatil monastery style plaque, gilt bronze (copper or copper alloy with pigments), private collection, photo on https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/67644926_tibetan-gilt-bronze-densatil-monastery-style-plaque

Male figure riding a sharabha and holding a flaming jewel in one hand.

17th-18th century, Tibet, torana, gilt copper repoussé, private collection, photo by Christie’s https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/Lot/a-gilt-copper-repousse-torana-tibet-17th18th-5473060-details.aspx.

On this complete work, on each side there is an elephant supporting a bodhisattva,  a sharabha and a boy on its back.

On the upper part there is a makara and a nagaraja plus a garuda at the top.