A BRASS SHRINE TO CANDA VAJRAPANI  TIBET, 12TH/13TH CENTURY

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Lot 803
A BRASS SHRINE TO CANDA VAJRAPANI
TIBET, 12TH/13TH CENTURY

HK$ 2,000,000 - 3,000,000
US$ 250,000 - 380,000
A BRASS SHRINE TO CANDA VAJRAPANI
TIBET, 12TH/13TH CENTURY
Himalayan Art Resources item no.68451
18.5 cm (7 1/4 in.) high

Footnotes

  • Published
    David Weldon and Jane Casey Singer, The Sculptural Heritage of Tibet: Buddhist Art in the Nyingjei Lam Collection, London, 1999, pp.98-9, pl.16.
    Franco Ricca, Arte Buddhista Tibetana: Dei e Demoni dell'Himalaya, Turin, 2004, fig. IV.25.

    Exhibited
    The Sculptural Heritage of Tibet: Buddhist Art in the Nyingjei Lam Collection, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 6 October – 30 December 1999.
    Arte Buddhista Tibetana: Dei e Demoni dell'Himalaya, Palazzo Bricherasio, Turin, 18 June – 19 September 2004.
    Casting the Divine: Sculptures of the Nyingjei Lam Collection, Rubin Museum of Art, New York, 2 March 2012 – 11 February 2013.

    Provenance
    The Nyingjei Lam Collection
    On loan to the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 1996-2005
    On loan to the Rubin Museum of Art, New York, 2005-2019

    A most ancient deity, Vajrapani, 'holder of the thunderbolt', is believed to have evolved from the Indian Vedic god Indra, who is evoked as 'The King of Heaven' and 'The Bringer of Rains'. Throughout history Vajrapani has assumed various roles, including that of a supportive yaksha, a protector deity, and a manifestation of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. As the foremost guardian of Buddhism, a good number of sculptures depicting Vajrapani have survived, among which the present work is one of the rarest and most remarkable early examples.

    With elephants and lions underfoot, a tiger skin around his waist, and snakes for jewelry, Vajrapani is depicted as a terrific guardian able to subdue the most dangerous of creatures. This is all the more heightened by his biting a snake and imbibing its poison. Framed by a distinctive flaming mandorla, with the sun and moon flanking his head, the sculptor has produced a spirited divine bodyguard projecting an air of implacable power.

    Many special iconographic features speak to the uniqueness of this commission, among which his left hand gesture is the most notable. Normally Vajrapani in his two-armed wrathful form would either raise his left hand in front of his chest in karana mudra or hold a bell or lasso, but here his left hand points sideways in tarjani mudra. While no other example of the same exact iconographical compilation is known, two other early works show Vajrapani with the similarly pointing hand gesture. One is a 12th-century painting at the Rubin Museum of Art (C2002.11.2, HAR 65088). The other is an 11th-century bronze in the same collection (HAR 65566). The prominent striding figure embedded within this sculpture of Vajrapani's hair likely represents Samvara or Vajrahumkara, and is another highly unusual detail rarely seen in other images of Vajrapani. So are the two large severed heads suspended below his arms from either side of the prabhamandala.

    Stylistically, the influence of the Pala sculptural tradition is evident in the treatment of the sculpture's necklace, sashes, and lotus petals. The rectangular throne with a projecting central section is also clearly inspired by earlier examples from Northeastern India. For instance, a 10th-century Pala blackstone stele of Vajrapani in the Victoria and Albert Museum (IM.2-1932) shares a similar three-sectioned pedestal with decorative motifs.

    A close stylistic parallel to this bronze is that of a multi-armed deity preserved in the Jokhang Monastery in Lhasa (von Schroeder, Buddhist Sculptures in Tibet, Vol.II, Hong Kong, 2003, pp.1144-5, no.299D-E). Similar in size, the two sculptures share the same pointy hair bun, wide nose, lip-biting fangs, crown flowers, and tiger skin patterns. Both figures have the same double-line treatment under the chest, likely there to exaggerate the deity's volume. Both bases follow the three-sectioned Pala model and are decorated with almost identical eight-point star symbols representing the dharma wheel.


    金剛手銅像
    西藏,十二或十三世紀
    喜馬拉雅藝術資源網68451號
    18.5釐米(7 1/4 英吋)

    2,000,000-3,000,000港幣

    著錄
    David Weldon與Jane Casey Singer,《The Sculptural Heritage of Tibet:Buddhist Art in the Nyingjei Lam Collection》,倫敦,1999年,頁98-9,圖版16。
    Franco Ricca,《Arte Buddhista Tibetana:Dei e Demoni dell'Himalaya》,都靈,2004年,圖IV.25。

    展覽
    「The Sculptural Heritage of Tibet:Buddhist Art in the Nyingjei Lam Collection」,阿什莫林博物館,牛津,1999年10月6日至12月30日。
    「Arte Buddhista Tibetana:Dei e Demoni dell'Himalaya」,布里凱拉西奧宮,都靈,2004年6月18日至9月19日。
    「Casting the Divine:Sculptures of the Nyingjei Lam Collection」,魯賓藝術博物館,紐約,2012年3月2日至2013年2月11日。

    來源
    菩薩道收藏
    借展於阿什莫林博物館,牛津,1996年至2005年
    借展於魯賓藝術博物館,紐約,2005年至2019年

    金剛手菩薩相傳由印度吠陀文化中掌管天庭與雷雨的因陀羅演化而來,為最古老的神袛之一。在漫長的歷史流變中,其曾被賦予多種身份,例如夜叉神、護法神、觀世音菩薩之化身等等。身為至關重要的佛教護法,金剛手菩薩廣受信眾敬拜,故傳世造像頗多,本尊造像便為此中十分重要而罕見的一尊早期作品。

    金剛手足踏獅象,身著虎皮,纏繞蛇型珠寶,將其兇殘可怖、能降伏一切猛獸的護法形象展現得淋漓盡致。菩薩正吞咬毒蛇、飲下毒汁,無疑將這種威懾力烘托到極致。其背光為熊熊火焰,上有圓日與彎月,令其形象充滿頂天立地之雄壯氣勢,震懾逼人。

    本尊造像的諸多細節皆獨具一格,最突出的莫過於其左手的姿勢。兩臂忿怒相金剛手菩薩之左手時而當胸結期剋印,時而持金剛鈴或金鉤繩,然而此尊金剛手卻以左手食指筆直地指向身側。儘管並無已知造像帶有完全相同之手印,藏於魯賓藝術博物館的兩作品手勢相似,可供參考,一為十二世紀金剛手畫像(編號C2002.11.2, 喜馬拉雅藝術資源網65088號),一為十一世紀金剛手銅像(喜馬拉雅藝術資源網65566號)。此處護法神高聳的火焰狀頭髮裡可見一小型神祇,應為勝樂金剛或金剛哞迦邏像,此細節在金剛手造像中極為罕見。同樣難得一見的還有其兩側懸掛於背光之上的可怖頭顱。

    自藝術風格而言,其胸前及腰間的瓔珞飾物與蓮花座則呈現出帕拉遺風。長方形的寶座中央部分向前突出,亦為印度東北部藝術風格。例如一尊現藏於維多利亞與艾伯特博物館的十世紀帕拉金剛手黑石像(編號IM.2-1932)便有相似的三疊式底座,每一部分均有類似法器與標誌。

    拉薩大昭寺的一尊西藏早期造像風格上與本拍品如出一轍(馮·施羅德,《西藏佛教造像》,卷二,香港,2003年,頁1144-5,編號299D-E)。二者不僅尺寸相近,皆有相似之尖頂髮髻、寬鼻尖牙、寶冠綴花以及虎皮紋理,更在胸前以雙線勾勒肌肉以增強其氣魄。二者身型亦遵循帕拉之三折式構造,底座均有八芒星標誌,為法輪象徵。
Contacts
A BRASS SHRINE TO CANDA VAJRAPANI  TIBET, 12TH/13TH CENTURY
A BRASS SHRINE TO CANDA VAJRAPANI  TIBET, 12TH/13TH CENTURY
A BRASS SHRINE TO CANDA VAJRAPANI  TIBET, 12TH/13TH CENTURY
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