Nepal, Khasa Malla (18)

14th century, Nepal, Khasa Malla kingdom, Shakyamuni, gilt copper, private collection, photo by Koller.

This buddha with broad shoulders and a thin waist is seated on a tall double-lotus base with thick beading very similar to a 14th century Khasa Malla buddha published in a previous post, also with a tiny vajra sceptre placed before him.

Unlike the majority of works from that period and area, his finger joints are not clearly delineated on the outside.

Another unusual feature is the way the petals continue across the back.

He has thick brows, slanting eyes, tiny ears with very elongated lobes. The hem of his sanghati is decorated with the traditional chased rice grain motif and thick beading.

14th century, Nepal, Khasa Malla kingdom, Shakyamuni, gilt copper, private collection, photo by Koller.

This singular figure has a jewel finial on his chignon and large rosettes above his ears.

He has well delineated finger joints and nails. The rice grain design on his garment is very large and between a row of beading on the outside and a row of stippled dots on the inside.

Neither the ears nor the elongated lobes have been hollowed.

The back of the seat has no petals, and no sign of red paint as could be expected.

The  cloth over his left shoulder is arranged in a particularly artistic way.

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Nepal, Late Malla Manjushri (3)

Early 17th century, Nepal, Kathmandu Valley, Manjushri, Dharmadhatu Vagisvajra, sandstone, private collection, photo by Renaud Montméat.

This form of Manjushri with 3 to 5 heads and 6 to 8 hands is rarely seen in the form of a sculpture. He normally has the effigy of a buddha on his chignon or several buddhas on his crown;  the above wears floral crowns and a matching garland. He holds a vajra sceptre and a bell in his main hands, the remaining right hands hold a sword, a bow and an elephant goad; the other left hands hold a book, an arrow and a lasso.

17th century, Nepal, Manjushri, black stone, private collection, photo by castor-hara.com

This stele depicts an early form of the one-head and two-hand Manjushri, with a sword in his right hand and a manuscript in the left hand, held at heart level. It corresponds to various aspects of Manjushri described in ancient texts, such as White Manjushri Arapachana and Manjushri Sthira Cakra, the former has a white body on paintings, the latter a saffron-coloured one.

17th century, Nepal, Manjushri, copper alloy, private collection, published on http://www.auctionata.com

In the later and more common version, he holds the stem of a blue lotus that supports the book.

The above displays an incised lotus within a diamond in the palm of his hands.

 

His long dhoti is decorated with engraved lotuses.

1784, Nepal, Manjushri with Sarasvati, gilt copper, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

Dressed in Chinese-style silk garments, the couple sits, but not in embrace, on a lotus atop a throne covered with a cloth and supported by two elephants. Her right hand is extended palm out to indicate generosity, the other is held to signify teaching or debate.

He has four heads and six hands. In his main hands we can see a vajra sceptre and a bell (under her left elbow); the remaining right hands hold a sword (the blade missing) and a solar wheel; the middle left hand holds a noose, the upper one probably held a book.

18th century, Nepal, Manjushri and Sarasvati, gilt copper alloy, at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (Australia).

A very similar work, with a flaming halo fastened to his back.

Nepal, Late Malla – wrathful figures

16th century, Nepal, Achala, gilt copper alloy with gems, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (USA).

Blue Achala, his upper fangs biting down his lower lip, half kneeling half crouching, brandishes a sword and holds a (missing) noose or lasso. His leopard skin loin cloth is held in place with a sash studded with gems, like his crown and other accessories, a celestial scarf with floral attachments flowing on each side of him.

17th century, Nepal or Tibet, Chandamaharoshana Achala (labelled Mahacandaroshana), gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Galerie Zacke.

Extremely rare in sculpture, this form of Blue Achala half kneeling half crouching and dressed in a tiger skin loin cloth may have two or four hands and is usually in embrace with his consort, who wears a bone apron and has both legs around his waist. In the two- hand form he brandishes a sword (broken here) in his right hand and holds a noose in the other; his consort holds a skull cup and there would have been a flaying knife in her missing hand. On the Nepalese paintings published on the Himalayan Art Resources website he has a garland of severed heads around his neck and she has a garland of skulls.

16th century, Nepal, Vajrabhairava, ekavira, gilt bronze, at the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg (Russia).

The only form of Yamantaka with a buffalo head has 9 faces, 34 hands and 16 legs that tread on gods, birds and other animals. The central head at the top is Manjushri’s. His main hands clutch a flaying knife and a skull cup, the others hold a variety of wrathful implements and Brahma’s head with four faces.

17th century (1632), Nepal, Krodha Vighnantaka, stone, at the Berkeley Art Museum (USA), photo from the Pacific Film Archive.

Krodha Vighnantaka is depicted alone, in his three-head six-hand form, treading on Ganapati. His main hands do a gesture to subdue demons, the remaining right hands hold a visvajra on a stick and a lotus bud, the remaining left hands hold a solar wheel typical of Malla art and a lasso.

Circa 18th century (or earlier?), Nepal, Vajrapani, black stone, private collection, photo by Galerie Zacke.

Same deity, same aspect, with a flaming arch around him.

18th century, Nepal, Mahakala, stone, private collection, photo credits not quoted, published on pinterest.

Mahakala in is popular panjara nata form, a danda stick resting across his arms, a flaying knife and skull cup in his hands, squats on a victim atop a throne covered with a cloth and supported by two snow lions. His flaming hair is tied with a snake and adorned with an effigy of Akshobhya and a skull crown. he wears large floral earrings, a Late Malla style necklace, a garland of skulls, foliate bracelets and anklets.

 

Nepal, Late Malla bodhisattvas

15th-16th century, Nepal, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, gilt copper alloy with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Drouot.

The most popular 4-hand form of Avalokiteshvara is seated with his legs locked, the main hands holding a wish-granting gem against his heart, the other two displaying a (missing) rosary and a lotus flower, adorned with princely jewellery (the finial on his chignon broken).

The large urna on his forehead is studded with two tiny stones (a most unusual feature unless they have been added later to substitute the original).

16th-17th century, same as before, photo by Christie’s.

This one has an effigy of Amitabha on top of his chignon.

and a tiny antelope skin over his left shoulder.

 

16th century, Nepal, bodhisattva, gilt copper repoussé with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

This masterpiece depicts a bodhisattva seated ease, leaning on his left arm, adorned with princely jewellery inlaid with tiny stones, his right hand doing a teaching gesture.

Undated, Nepal, Maitreya, copper or copper alloy, at the Fondation Alain Bordier in Gruyère (Switzerland), photo by Anne Lozes.

Maitreya is identified through the dharma wheel on the front panel of his crown and the position of his hands, that express generosity and teaching/debate (varada and vitarka mudra).

16th-17th century, Nepal, bodhisattva, gilt copper, at the British Museum in London (UK).

The hand gestures and the wheel at the front of his crown would also point to Maitreya but for the fact that this character holds the stem of a plant resembling millet. Maitreya would hold a blue lotus (utpala) or a white naga/champaka flower.

17th-18th century, Nepal, Mahabodhisattvas, zitan wood (the Chinese name for red sandalwood) and cold gold, private collection, photo by Koller.

These three almost identical wooden statues with Chinese-style features have no specific attributes to identify them with any of the great bodhisattvas.

Circa 18th century, Nepal, bodhisattva, wood and paint, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This masterpiece depicts a figure with similar clothing (shawl, long garment and sash across the hips), his accessories studded with tiny turquoise cabochons.

Each piece is decorated with a fine floral and geometrical print.

His body and face are painted with cold gold; pigments have been used for the eyes, lips and hair, and for the rim and the ribbons of the crown.

16th-17th century, Nepal, bodhisattva, gilt copper alloy, is or was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (USA).

A curious mixture of bodhisattva accessories, lower garment and sash, with a sanghati of which a piece is held in the left hand, as for the historical buddha. And yet, a crowned buddha may wear earrings and a necklace but not bracelets or anklets.

Nepal, Late Malla buddhas

Labelled 15th-18th century, (late Malla period), Nepal, Amitabha, at the Mahabuddha temple in Patan, photo from the Huntington Archive.

The red body and the begging bowl in his cupped hands identify this buddha as Amitabha.

16th century, Nepal, Amitabha, gilt copper, at the Khadgayogini temple in Sanku (Nepal), photo from the Huntington Archive.

The begging bowl in the cupped hands and the peacock throne correspond to Amitabha, who is sometimes depicted with a bodhisattva appearance but he normally has one head and two hands – here we have twelve. The main ones do the ‘turning the wheel of dharma‘ gesture, the pair below hold the bowl. The remaining left hands hold a branch of the ashoka tree, a vajra-handled bell, a bow, a noose; the remaining right hands hold a sword, a vajra sceptre, and a non-identified object; the lower hand displays the gesture of generosity. There is an archaic form of Manjushri with 3 heads and 6 hands who holds a sword, a bow, an arrow, a vajra sceptre, a bell, a book, a noose and an elephant goad, or with two of the hands turning the wheel of dharma instead of holding these last two implements. We may be looking at one of those rare works that blend several deities together.

16th century, Nepal, Akshobhya, copper alloy with traces of gilding, private collection, photo by Cornette de St Cyr.

The iconography is the same as for Shakyamuni calling Earth to witness, a minute vajra sceptre is placed near the beaded rim of the lotus base.

16th century, Nepal?, Akshobhya, gilt copper, at the British Museum in London (UK).

Crowned buddhas usually represent the historical buddha but in the absence of dharma wheels on the sole of their feet they are understood to represent Akshobhya.

15th-16th century, Nepal, Vajradhara, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Arthur Millner.

Vajradhara, with one head topped with a vajra finial and two hands, holds a vajra sceptre and a bell in his hands crossed over his heart.

17th century, Nepal, Vajradhara, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

In his three-head and six-hand form, the upper hands hold a sword and a noose (missing here), the remaining hands would normally hold a hook and a skull cup but the position of either hands corresponds to a thinner attribute held between two fingers. A singular beaked flower or jewel shows at the extremities of his sash and the folds of his dhoti.

18th century, Nepal, Amitayus, copper, private collection, photo by Prajna Gallery.

We have seen a variety of similar statues of Amitayus in the Tibetan section of this blog, seated on a cushion and adorned with the same type of hair ornament and floral jewellery, a broad sash across his chest.

18th century, Nepal, Amitayus, hollow cast gilt copper, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Chinese-style sculptures made in Nepal during the late Malla period usually include a shawl which forms a sharp loop at elbow level and a supple silk garment which covers the legs and part of the lotus base.

17th century, Nepal, Buddha, gilt bronze (copper alloy) and pigments, at the British Museum in London (UK).

Nepal, Shakyamuni – various styles (2)

15th-16th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Florence Number Nine.

A small buddha (7 cm) with a smiling face, an oval chin, large hair curls and lotus finial, his right hand calling Earth to witness his enlightenment, wearing a transparent sanghati with a thick hem, part of the garment forming a scallop shape over the lotus base and thick pleats over his left shoulder.

16th-17th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Seated on a separately cast lotus base and commissioned by a Tibetan patron, this buddha with a squarish face holds a begging bowl in his left hand and wears a silk robe draped in the Chinese fashion.

Circa 17th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

The body proportions and the buddha’s robe covering both shoulders recall the much earlier Licchavi style while the throne supported by inverted lotuses forming a vajra sceptre and covered with a large pleated cloth reaching the plinth is typical of late Chinese (or Sino-Tibetan) works. 

15th-16th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy) with turquoise inlay, published by Dr. Pratapaditya Pal in an article on http://www.asianart.com.

A rare sculpture of Shakyamuni in his crowned buddha form with a large vajra sceptre placed on the folds of his sanghati below his ankles and a large floral/visvajra design for the central panel of his crown, a piece of his garment arranged like raining jewels over his left shoulder.

16th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy) with pigments, published by Dr. Pratapaditya Pal in an article on http://www.asianart.com

In most cases, the vajra sceptre is placed directly on the lotus base.

17th-18th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni,  hammered copper (with copper and silver inlay?), at the Patan Museum.

 

Nepal, Late Malla Hevajra

16th century (1531), Nepal, Hevajra, gilt copper with pigments, is or was at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston (USA).

Popular in Nepal, the shastradhara form (holder of weapons) of Hevajra, in embrace with Nairatmya, has eight faces, four legs standing on two Hindu deities, and sixteen hands. In his main hands he holds a vajra sceptre and a bell across Nairatmya’s back, in the remaining right hands he holds a hook, a trident, a crescent moon, a lotus bud, a solar wheel. In the remaining left hands he holds a noose, a skull cup, a jewel, a ritual staff, a bow, a lotus flower, one of the upper hands seems to always remain empty and does a threatening gesture. On this occasion, another two gods of Hindu origin are seated on the pedestal, each holding one of his remaining feet.

Undated, probably Nepal, Hevajra, gilt metal, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources.

Same form of the deity as before. The heads are arranged in a row of seven semi-wrathful faces topped with a wrathful head, sometimes described as being Bhairava’s.

Nairatmya’s bone apron is made of pearls, with turquoise and red gem cabochons that form a floral pattern.

18th century, Nepal, Hevajra, gilt metal, at Musée Guimet in Paris (France).