Tibet, crowned buddha (5)

9th century (or later?), Kashmir (Kashmir school in Western Tibet?), Shakyamuni, bronze, private collection, photo on  Hardt .

A rare sculpture of a standing crowned buddha, almost identical to a 12th century sculpture from Western Tibet, published by Christie’s and seen in a previous post. He stands on a Kashmiri-style stepped pedestal decorated with a singular row of lotus petals and an incised motif at the front. Other features that differ from Kashmiri standards are the large wide-open eyes, the shape of the rosettes on each side of the crown and the hem, with large beading and jewel pendants instead of tassels, on the three-pointed neckline of his garment.

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Tibet, Shakyamuni – variants (3)

15th century (or earlier?), Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze with silver and copper inlay, private collection, photo on Hardt

The historical buddha dressed in a transparent robe that reveals the waist of his undergarment, his lips and the border of his robe inlaid with copper, his eyes and urna inlaid with silver, seated on a tall lotus base with plump petals, all of which we have often seen on early (13th-14th century) works from Tibet. We have only seen a few early buddhas seated on a beaded cushion as above, most of them dated 13th century.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze with silver inlay, private collection, photo on Nagel .

One of a group of buddhas seated on a double-lotus base with elongated petals with a sharply pointed end, displaying the same type of facial features and hairstyle, the undergarment tightly pleated under the breast, the sanghati decorated with an incised border, a small vajra sceptre placed on top of the seat.

15th century, Western Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze, at the Cleveland Museum of Art (USA).This rare image depicts the historical buddha with a jewelled finial (and no hair bun or chignon), wearing a diaphanous robe with part of the cloth falling vertically on the left side.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gitl bronze with cold gold and pigment, private collection, photo by Nagel.

A plain robe with an incised hem and a section of the cloth arranged in two scallop-shaped layers over his left shoulder.

15th century, Western Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze (brass), with copper inlay, private collection, photo by Andrew Lau for Hollywood Galleries

A copper-inlaid hem and a classic ‘swallow tail’ draping over the left shoulder.

16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by 25 Blythe Road.

A sanghati with a multitude of soft pleats across the chest and left arm.

Circa 16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Marie-Catherine Daffos for aaoarts 

The classic patched robe with beaded seams.

17th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Polyauction.

With a very loosely draped robe, disproportionate arms and torso, an elongated neck and face, all of which help date the piece.

18th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper repoussé, private collection, photo by Nagel, sale 104 China 2.

Dressed in silk clothing draped in the Chinese fashion.

Tibet, crowned Shakyamuni – seated (7)

Undated, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Ravenel.

The historical buddha wearing a five-leaf crown tied with long ribbons and decorated with large rosettes, no earrings or necklace,  dressed in a sanghati with an incised hem, his right hand calling Earth to witness, the other cupped in the gesture of meditation.

Undated, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), at the Tibet House Museum in New Delhi, photo on Himalayan Art Resources, item 71797.

A similar depiction, with a small vajra sceptre before him half embedded in the lotus base.

Mid 15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze with turquoise and lapis lazuli, at the Toledo Museum in Ohio (USA).

On quite a few of these broad-shouldered Nepalese-style sculptures produced during the 14th and 15th century approximatley, the buddha has a tear-shaped urna on his forehead and wears a minimal tiara, consisting in a head band, plain or with a chased pattern, side rosettes and a central decoration or several stone cabochons.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni (labelled ‘Amitabha’), bronze, private collection, photo by Henry’s Auktionshaus.

The historical buddha, crowned and holding a begging bowl in both hands.

Tibet, Shakyamuni – seated (22)

12th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, copper alloy with silver and copper inlay, private collection?, photo on Artkhade

This Indo-Tibetan masterpiece depicts the historical buddha with a very large lotus bud finial on his chignon, his right hand calling Earth to witness his enlightenment. There is no cloth folded over his left shoulder but we can see that a piece of the garment rests across his left arm, a common feature in Tibet.

13th-14th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni (labelled ‘Akshobhya’), copper alloy, with copper inlay and pigments, photo by VAN HAM.

14th-15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, copper alloy with copper-inlaid seam, private collection, photo by Koller, sale A187AS.

Two buddhas with a large raised urna above their unibrow and a sanghati with a copper-inlaid hem decorated with an incised geometrical pattern, a recurrent feature in 13th and 14th century Tibet, usually featuring a rice grain or a lotus motif.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze, private collection, photo by Nagel, sale 105 China 1.

A simpler way of decorating the hem, without the copper inlay. Note the ‘swallow tail’ over the left shoulder, the delicate hands and the oblong urna at the centre of the unibrow. We can see a raised wheel of dharma on the sole of his right foot.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze with copper inlay, private collection, photo by Nagel, sale 104 China 2.

Two noteworthy features here are the way the cloth drops almost vertically across the left arm and the short and broad ‘swallow tail’ arranged over the shoulder and down the arm.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Drouot.

A sanghati with a wavy pattern on the hem.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze with copper and turquoise inlay, at the MAAS in Sydney (Australia).

Shakyamuni wearing a patched robe with beaded seams, a floral pattern engraved on each patch, the border decorated with a geometrical motif, seated on a rare lotus base with an incised two-tier plinth.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by F. Gousset for aaoarts.

With two layers of clothing clearly visible and thick pleating over his left shoulder.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze with traces of gilding, private collection, photo by Koller.

17th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Mossgreen.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy with cold gold and pigment, private collection, photo by Koller, sale A189AS.

Tibet, shakyamuni – metal variants (4)

13th-14th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, copper alloy with silver inlay, private collection, photo by Amita Gallery.

The use of silver inlay for the eyes came to Tibet via Kashmiri and Indian artists, who didn’t normally apply gilding to their works.

Circa 14th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

In parts of Tibet (such as the Ngari area in Western Tibet), plain copper alloy was often decorated with a stippled and/or incised motif, such as the lotus flowers on this buddha’s sanghati and the geometrical pattern on the hem.

14th century, Tibet, metal (brass with copper inlay and pigments), private collection, photo on HAR

On many 13th and 14th century Tibetan brass sculptures the garments (of buddhas, bodhisattvas and lamas) have a copper-inlaid and incised border. This buddha’s robe has a floral motif. A different decoration has been used for the folds over his shoulders (see close up here). There are traces of cold gold on his face and neck. His nails are also inlaid with copper.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt metal with painted face and hair, Sonam Gyaltsen and atelier, private collection, photo on HAR

Richly gilt and stone-inlaid works such as those found at the Densatil monastery and others attributed to Sonam Gyaltsen (whose atelier was in the Tsang province) and his followers is due to the influence of Newari artists from the Kathmandu Valley. But before that, the Newars already used (cold) gold to adorn wooden statues. One example is the famous sandalwood statue of Avalokiteshvara known as ‘Phagpa Lokeshvara’ at the Potala’ (see article by Ian Alsop) which may date from the 7th century.

Tibet, Shakyamuni – seated (21)

14th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo on Hardt

An unusual image of the historical buddha seated on a Pala-style lotus base with incised (rather than modelled) beading, the hem of his sanghati decorated with a triangular pattern, his smiling face painted with cold gold, a lotus bud finial on his chignon.

14th century, Tibet or India, Shakyamuni, bronze, private collection, photo on Hardt as before.

Quite a different image with a serene face, thick hair curls, a lobed abdomen and large nipple, seated on a base with no apparent lotus petals, the hem of his clothes roughly incised.

14th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, metal, private collection, photo on HAR 

With painted facial features, the eyes rendered in the Indian Pala style, the hem of his sanghati incised with a semi-circular motif, the edge of his undergarments showing next to it.

14th century, Western Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze with silver-inlaid eyes, private collection, photo by Koller, sale W245AS.

The way the fingers of the left hand are held suggests that this buddha held a begging bowl.

14th century, Central Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze with copper inlay, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s, Arts d’Asie, Paris, December 2018.

With a lotus print on the border of his copper-inlaid robe, his hair dyed with lapis lazuli powder, the hands and nails modelled in a naturalistic manner.

14th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, metal (gilt copper alloy), private collection, photo on HAR

14th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni (labelled ‘Akshbhya’), gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s, Arts d’Asie Paris June 2019.

With a vajra sceptre before him on the lotus base to symbolise his moment of enlightenment, his face painted with cold gold.

14th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, metal (gilt copper alloy), private collection, photo on HAR

With square shoulders and an elongated torso, wearing a patched robe with beaded seams, a chubby face with large slanted eyes.

Undated (circa 13th-14th century?), Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Ravenel.

With part of the sanghati dropping vertically at the front instead of resting over the left arm.

14th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Nagel, sale 710.

With a long row of pleats over the left shoulder and the lower part of his garments gathered in a scallop shape under his ankles.

13th-14th century (or later?), Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, private collection, photo on Armand Antiques

Wearing a robe with a broad hem incised with a solar motif, seated on a tall waisted lotus base with large rounded petals.

Circa 15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze with pigment, photo on Nagel .

Gandhara, Shakyamuni (4)

3rd-5th century, Gandhara, Shakyamuni, bronze, private collection, photo on Grand Art

A rare statue of the historical buddha on a plinth atop a lotus flower, its cylindrical stem now missing.

2nd-3rd century, Gandhara, Shakyamuni, grey schist, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Shakyamuni with soft wavy hair gathered in a meringue-like pointed bun, a solar disc behind his head, seated on a throne covered with a cloth, dressed in a pleated garment that covers both shoulders, one end held in front of him in his left hand, the right hand doing the fear-allaying gesture and displaying a tiny wheel embossed in his palm.

Undated, Gandhara, Shakyamuni, stucco, found at Nimogram, photo by Joan Raducha on wisc.edu

A different style, with thick lips, bulging eyes, a round hair bun, both hands in the meditation gesture and covered by his garment, with pleats roughly incised and going diagonally across the chest.

Undated, Gandhara, Shakyamuni, stucco, found at Nimogram, photo by Joan Raducha on wisc.edu

Here the robe doesn’t cover the hand and it has concentric pleats, the hair bun is smoother. On both images the hair locks are stippled rather than modelled.

Undated, Gandhara, Shakyamuni, black schist, found at Nimogram, photo by Joan Raducha, on wisc.edu

On this stone item, the artist has made very elegant pleats on the sanghati, in the Greco-buddhist style.

4th-5th century, Gandhara, Shakyamuni, stucco, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

The sculpture on the left depicts the historical buddha doing the gesture of meditation with the right hand resting in the palm of the left hand, his robe arranged in horizontal pleats over his ankles, his wavy hair gathered in a bun. The other depicts him with the right hand holding the left hand, his robe arranged in diagonal pleats over his ankles, his wavy hair coiled in a bun.

2nd-3rd, Gandhara, Parinirvana Buddha relief panel, grey schist, private collection, photo on Roseberys

An unusual depiction of the historical buddha on his death bed, his left hand between his head and the pillow, the right hand leaning on the couch.