Matthew Barton Ltd European & Asia Works of Art - Day 1 - Wednesday 24th May 2017
A PARCEL GILT BRONZE FIGURE OF MANJUSRI, WESTERN TIBET, 11TH/12TH CENTURY of tall slender form,
standing on small circular double lotus base, his hands in varada and vitarka mudra, a lotus stem in his left hand, flowering at his shoulder and supporting a book, wearing large earrings, tall headdress and billowing scarf, the arched aureole behind supporting a parasol with waving pennant, his face cold gilded, mounted on stand 25cm high Provenance: Private collection, London, acquired in London in the late 1980s Manjusri is the Bodhisattva representing knowledge and wisdom in Mahayana Buddhism. The iconography is similar to that of Padmapani, but the addition of a book resting on the lotus denotes his powers of insight. In another commonly seen form he is depicted wielding a sword to cut down ignorance. The slender anatomical form, along with the unworked back of the figure are typical of the Western Tibetan style. The Pala influence from India is strong but the emergence of a distinct Himalayan idiom is evident.