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Later Tibetan Gallery

 

 

 

Shakyamuni Buddha
Nepal 15th Century.

Althought the image is referred to as Nepalese it is entirely likely that it was cast in a Nepalese workshop in Tibet where many Newari (Nepalese from Kathmandu) ateliers were located.

The piece is of note immediately for the very features which make it so identifiable, namely the extremely broad shoulders and slightly diminutive "Nepalese" head.
The shoulders are depicted in that style as Shakyamuni, having been a prince before his spiritual quest would certainly have been trained in the royal arts of warfare and sport, and his physiognomy reflects this aspect of his life.
The robe is shown in great relief with the sewing between the patches being extremely prominent. The patched robe was made of graveyard rags to prevent the monk from becoming a robbery victim, and the Buddha himself is said to have initiated this tradition.

Despite their humble origins the manner in which the robe is spread over the left shoulder betrays a nobility and a developed aesthetic.

Before the main figure is a small bowl,typical of those which monks carry on their daily begging rounds. In some images it is held in Shakyamuni's left hand in his lap.
In this figure the pendant hand calling the earth to witness touches it with the central finger rather than the forefinger which is more usual.

Height 19cm

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