216

Details & Cataloguing

Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Works of Art Including Property from The Cleveland Museum of Art

|
New York

A GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF PADMASAMBHAVA Tibet, 15th Century

Provenance

Collection of the late Dr. Eugen W. Duetschler, Swiss consul in Karachi from 1949. 
Gifted to the consignor, Switzerland, 1970s.

Catalogue Note

This charismatic work depicts the legendary Indian pandita Padmasambhava, known as Guru Rinpoche to Tibetans. Padmasambhava is recognizable by the iconic peaked Indian cap of a pandita, surmounted with feathers and adorned with a sun and moon, as well as his furrowed brow and the wide, almond-shaped eyes which set him apart as a foreigner. He hold a vajra in his raised right hand, a kapala in the left hand. His ears are adorned with disk-shaped earrings with a foliate motif, and he wears richly embroidered inner and outer patchwork robes, and pointed Tibetan-style boots.  

Known by many different names which reflect his multiple forms, Padmasambhava is credited with establishing Buddhism in Tibet. In the eighth century, the Indian abbot Shantarakshita and the Tibetan chögyal or dharma king Trisong Detsen invited the tantrika Padmasambhava to make the arduous journey to Tibet.

Along the way, he encountered and subdued the many local spirits, gods and goddesses and bound them by oath as sworn protectors and protectresses of Buddhism in Tibet. Upon his arrival in Ü province, Padmasambhava subdued the local spirits hindering the contruction of Tibet's first monastery, Samye. 



Compare a circa 15th century Padmasambhava formerly in the Blanche C. Olschak Collection, see U. von Schroeder, Indo-Tibetan Bronzes, Hong Kong, 1981, p. 449, pl. 122C, and compare pedestal design with circa fifteenth century gilt-copper statues portraying Shadakshari Lokeshvara and a lama, ibid., p. 449, pls. 122G-H.

Compare also another circa fifteenth century gilt-copper Padmasambhava in the Victoria and Albert Museum, collected in Shigatse in 1914, that is similarly cast separately to its lotus base, Victoria and Albert Museum acc. no. IM.240-1922. 

Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Works of Art Including Property from The Cleveland Museum of Art

|
New York