A COPPER FIGURE OF SYAMATARA NEPAL, 14TH CENTURY
Lot 3204
A COPPER FIGURE OF SYAMATARA
NEPAL, 14TH CENTURY
Sold for US$ 372,500 inc. premium

Lot Details
A COPPER FIGURE OF SYAMATARA NEPAL, 14TH CENTURY A COPPER FIGURE OF SYAMATARA NEPAL, 14TH CENTURY A COPPER FIGURE OF SYAMATARA NEPAL, 14TH CENTURY
A COPPER FIGURE OF SYAMATARA
NEPAL, 14TH CENTURY
Inlaid with turquoise and rock crystal, and with cold gold paint.
Himalayan Art Resources item no.34111
8 1/4 in. (21 cm) high

Footnotes

  • 尼泊爾 十四世紀 綠度母銅像

    This beautiful image of the goddess, in her aspect as savior, sits in an open position of royal ease, with her hands conveying gestures of generosity (varada mudra) and religious instruction (vitarka mudra). Syamatara, also known as Green Tara, tilts her head slightly with a benevolent gaze and a warm smile. She is venerated as a liberator, able to free devotees from the chain of birth and rebirth, and all the suffering that ensues.

    Practiced in all schools of Tibetan Buddhism, her various forms are found in all classes of tantra. Her ten-syllable mantra and the short tantra known as the 'Twenty-One Praises of Tara', spoken by the Buddha Samantabhadra, are memorized and popularly recited by all Tibetans from the time of childhood. In a commentary on Tara, the First Dalai Lama, Gendün Drup (1391-1474), says that her face mirrors, "the delicacy of a million lotus blossoms" (Mullin, Mystical Verses of a Dalai Lama, New Delhi, 2003, p.57).

    Remarkable in volume and sensuality, the sculpting of her soft, voluptuous form, and brilliantly detailed jewelry elements are hallmarks of the Newari craftsmen at their artistic peak in the early Malla period of the 13th and 14th century. Her body and hair are ritually beautified with the practice of painting the skin with cold gold and the hair with ground lapis lazuli, indicating her further veneration in Tibet. For a strikingly close comparison with a bronze representing the goddess Mahasahasrapramardani, preserved in Drigung monastery in Central Tibet, see von Schroeder, Buddhist Bronzes in Tibet, vol. 1, Hong Kong, 2001, p.527, no.172B.

    The exquisite jewels adorning her naked torso and her wristlets echo the formative style favored by the Pala school of Northeastern India (see von Schroeder, Buddhist Bronzes in Tibet, vol. 1, Hong Kong, 2001, p.319, no.110C). Another Newari Tara with similar bangles and simple floral decoration on her lower garment in the Zimmerman Family Collection is published in Pal, Art of the Himalayas, New York, 1991, p.50, no.14. Also, a close comparison can be found in a 13th/14th century figure of Vasudhara in the Cleveland Museum of Art (acc.#1947.493) – especially with reference to the ribbon tie at the back of her neck, still discernable under the present lot's thick layer of cold gold.

    Published
    Spink & Son Ltd, Light of Compassion, London, 1997, p.14, pl.4.

    Provenance
    Spink & Son Ltd, London, 1997
    John Eskenazi Ltd, London, February 2005
Activities
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