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38

ANCIENNE COLLECTION PARTICULIÈRE FRANÇAISE

Importante statuette de Shyama Tara en bronze doré Mongolie, atelier de Zanabazar, fin du XVIIE siècle
A VERY RARE AND IMPORTANT GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF SHYAMA TARA, MONGOLIA, ATELIER OF ZANABAZAR, LATE 17TH CENTURY
Stima
200.000300.000
Lotto. Venduto 3,457,500 EUR (Prezzo di aggiudicazione con commissione d'acquisto)
VAI AL LOTTO
38

ANCIENNE COLLECTION PARTICULIÈRE FRANÇAISE

Importante statuette de Shyama Tara en bronze doré Mongolie, atelier de Zanabazar, fin du XVIIE siècle
A VERY RARE AND IMPORTANT GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF SHYAMA TARA, MONGOLIA, ATELIER OF ZANABAZAR, LATE 17TH CENTURY
Stima
200.000300.000
Lotto. Venduto 3,457,500 EUR (Prezzo di aggiudicazione con commissione d'acquisto)
VAI AL LOTTO

Details & Cataloguing

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Importante statuette de Shyama Tara en bronze doré Mongolie, atelier de Zanabazar, fin du XVIIE siècle
A VERY RARE AND IMPORTANT GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF SHYAMA TARA, MONGOLIA, ATELIER OF ZANABAZAR, LATE 17TH CENTURY
la divinité majestueuse assise en lalitasana, son pied gauche posé sur une fleur de lotus émergeant de la partie inférieure du double trône lotiforme, la main droite en varada mudra, signifiant l'accomplissement de gestes ordinaires et sublimes et la gauche en kartari mudra, le geste du refuge, chacune tenant une tige des lotus fleurissant autour de ses épaules, le visage serein aux lèvres charnues et aux yeux en amande agrémenté de l'urna sous une chevelure retenue en un demi-chignon derrière un ornement pointu abritant une image miniature du Bouddha Amitabha, vêtue d'un dhoti finement incisé de fleurs et ajusté par une ceinture de perles, arborant des bijoux précieux, le visage, le haut du corps et les pieds dorés à froid, la base scellée décorée d'un double vajra entrecroisé dans un cercle doré
30,7 cm; 12 in.
Leggi la scheda di conservazione Leggi la scheda di conservazione

Provenienza(e)

Acquired from Jean-Claude Moreau-Gobard, Paris, in 1954.
Thence in the family by descent.

Nota a catalogo

This exceptional gilt bronze figure of Tara embodies the aesthetic vision of the seventeenth century Mongolian spiritual leader and master artist Zanabazar (1635-1723). Sculpture from his atelier is distinguished by sensuous animation; bronzes are finished in the round with the closest attention to detail and fire-gilded overall, with matt gold paint covering the body of the deity to contrast with the burnished gold robes and jewellery, as seen in this rare example. The modelling of the female form is voluptuous while maintaining the sense of Buddhist compassion for which Tara is regarded; her gestures are expansive and auspicious, with an attentive tilt of the head and an empathetic expression playing on her youthful face.

Zanabazar’s sculptures of Tara are legendary; no more than twenty-three gilt bronze examples are attributed to the master’s atelier including two massive figures in the Fine Arts Museum and the Bogdo Khan Palace Museum in Ulan Bator, see N. Tsultem, The Eminent Mongolian Sculptor: G. Zanabazar, Ulan-Bator, 1982, pp. 65-8, pls. 45, 49. The cult of Tara was studied by Zanabazar’s spiritual progenitor, the Tibetan polymath Taranatha (1575-1635) who wrote treatises on early Buddhist textual sources, including a work on the ancient Indian origins of the Tara cult. Zanabazar popularised the worship of the goddess in Mongolia, and in homage to the Indian origins of Buddhism he imbued his bronzes with stylistic elements of early Indian sculpture. Evidence of these early foreign styles can be seen in the pedestal of the Tara where stepped tiers support the lotus flower on which she sits, cf. an eleventh century Tara from Bengal in the Dacca Museum, see Nihar Ranjan Ray, Karl Khandalavala and Sadashiv Gorakshar, Eastern Indian Bronzes, New Delhi, 1986, pl. 234. Compare also the style of the low crown set back against the chignon in a circa twelfth century eastern Indian Shyama Tara in the Potala Palace Collection, Lhasa, see Ulrich von Schroeder, Buddhist Sculptures in Tibet, Hong Kong, 2001, Vol. I, p. 319, pl. 110C.

Eighteenth and nineteenth century Mongolian bronzes that are often described as from the school of Zanabazar are relatively common, an Avalokitesvara in the Rietberg Museum for example, see Helmut Uhlig, On the Path to Enlightenment: The Berti Aschmann Foundation of Tibetan Art at the Museum Rietberg, Zürich, 1995, p. 103, cat. no. 55, whereas bronzes from the master’s atelier are extremely rare, outside of Mongolian and Chinese museums, monasteries and palaces. One of the few examples in a western museum collection is a seventeenth century standing Maitreya now in the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, see Gilles Béguin and Dorjiin Dashbaldan, Trésors de Mongolie, Paris, 1993, p. 122, fig. 2, cf. the engraved design on the dais of the standing Maitreya with that of the lower tier of Tara’s pedestal. Meticulous attention to detail and breathtaking sculptural prowess distinguish the Sackler Maitreya and the Tara as masterpieces from Zanabazar’s atelier.

The effigy of Amitabha depicted on Tara’s crown associates the goddess with the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, Lord of Compassion. Both deities are considered to be emanations of the Buddha Amitabha. Tara is worshipped by Buddhists as a saviour and liberator from samsara, the earthly realm of birth and rebirth. In Tibetan and Mongolian mythology, Tara, with her face “embodying the delicacy of a million lotus blossoms”, appeared from within a lotus bud on a lake of tears shed for the suffering of sentient beings by the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. This Buddhist tenet of compassion for all sentient beings is no better expressed than in this sublime sculpture of Tara from the atelier of Mongolia’s greatest artist, Zanabazar.

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