A COPPER AND SILVER-INLAID COPPER ALLOY FIGURE OF VAJRASATTVA TIBET, 12TH – 13TH CENTURY
Himalayan Art Resources item no. 68317
The Sculptural Heritage of Tibet: Buddhist Art in the Nyingjei Lam Collection, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, October-December 1999.
Arte Buddhista Tibetana: Dei e Demoni dell' Himalaya, Palazzo Bricherasio, Turin, June-September 2004.
Rubin Museum of Art, New York, 2005-2017, on loan.
Casting the Divine: Sculptures of the Nyingjei Lam Collection, Rubin Museum of Art, New York, 2012-2013.
The extant crown sash and delicate rosettes above the ears bear traces of polychromy and cold gold remnants fleck the neck and ears, as this elegant figure would have been painted and given a layer of gilding to the face sometime after its creation. The dhoti and upper shawl are incised with a scrolling geometric motif which mirrors the scrolling design of the tall headdress. Evidence of a lug at the reverse of the bronze, between the addorsed elephants, suggests that this delightful figure may have originally had a larger repoussé mandorla.
The large and commanding crown of Vajrasattva, the height of which is larger than the head, and which wraps around the head completely obscuring the jatamukata within, has precedents in late Licchavi bronze sculpture, see a bronze figure of Avalokiteshvara in Ulrich von Schroder, Indo-Tibetan Bronzes, Hong Kong, 1981, pp. 312-313, cat. no. 78E.