Cast seated in dhyanasana on a double lotus base, the right hand lowered in varadamudra, the left hand raised to his chest, wearing an elaborate beaded necklace, the face with downcast eyes and meditative expression framed by a five-pointed crown securing the hair swept in a top knot, with his bare torso adorned with inlaid beaded jewelry. Avalokiteshvara has long been regarded as the patron deity of Tibet, and has been revered in China from the late Ming dynasty through the Qing. Qing court patronage of Buddhism commenced under the Kangxi Emperor and reached epic proportions under his grandson, the Qianlong Emperor. The Buddhist centers of Beijing, Rehol, and Dolonnor produced a vast number of images to keep up with the demand of temples both inside and outside of the capital. The present work exhibits many characteristics common to the Buddhist workshops of the Qianlong period, such as the languid and slightly effeminate treatment of the face and body, and the tightly waisted double-lotus base with broad petals. This sculpture has a pacifying beauty and presence, a very fine example amongst the great number of similar Buddhist bronzes proliferated during the Qianlong period. This gilt bronze excels in its elegant modeling with finely cast hands and fingers.
A repoussé figure of Tsongkhapa Mongolia 18th century Gilt bronze
Tsongkhapa, also known as Je Rinpoche, was born in the Amdo region of Tibet in 1357. He was a highly respected Buddhist scholar and is credited as being the founder of the Gelug Buddhist sect, known as the “Yellow Hat” sect, one of the most powerful and widespread in the Buddhist religion. Revered as an incarnation of the Bodhisattva Manjushri, he was reported to have seen and conversed with the deity from a young age. The current bronze example can be seen holding the stems of lotus flowers supporting a sword and book, which are the prime attributes of Bodhisattva Manjushri. Compare this powerful piece with a related gilt-bronze figure of Tsongkhapa, 18th century, illustrated in B.Lipton and N.D.Ragnubs,Treasures of Tibetan Art: Collections of the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art, p.70, no.22.
Crowned Buddha Thailand, Lopburi Khmer period, 13th century
Crowned Buddha Thailand, Khmer period, Lopburi, 13th century Copper Alloy 22 in. (55.9 cm.) high
Provenance: The collection of Mrs. Julian B. Herrmann, acquired in the 1920s or 30s. Thence by descent.
While the origins of the crowned buddha image in Southeast Asia are unknown, it is likely that this serene figure represents the historical buddha donning the crowns and jewels of a royal. The figure displays the vitarkamudra with both hands, indicating that he is in discussion or transmitting Buddhist teachings.
The present figure of Buddha Shakyamuni is a product of the ancient Mon city of Lopburi during the Khmer period of Cambodian rule. The square face and full lips give the face of the present figure a likeness to the last phase of Khmer art of the Angkor period, which centers around the art produced for the Temple of Bayon. Native Thai Dvaravati influences are also apparent in the sculpture’s frontality and balance.
A twelfth-century bronze figure of the Buddha at the Asian Museum of Art San Francisco (acc. 2006.27.20)—which displays a conical crown, a necklace with floral ornaments and pedants, highly-positioned arm bands, a jeweled belt with pendant ornaments hanging from its lower band, as well as an overall symmetrical design—is attributed to either Thailand or Cambodia. Comparison to a seated bronze figure of Buddha attributed to the twelfth or thirteenth century provincial Khmer capital of Lopburi at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (acc. 2019.451), however, provides more conclusive evidence that the present figure originated in the ancient Khmer dominion of Lopburi, in what is now Thailand.
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Asia Week NY 2020
2020 EXHIBITIONS & OPEN HOUSE
MARCH 12-21 God/Goddess
Open House Weekend: March 14-15 Saturday and Sunday, 11am-5pm, By Appointment Only
Hours Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm (By Appointment Only)
Opening Party Thursday, March 12, 6-8pm, By Appointment Only
GALLERY TALK by Laura Weinstein: A Brief Introduction to Indian and Himalayan Art Tuesday, March 17, 10:30am Canceled.