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Central Tibet 

西藏中部

Beginning in the 11th century, northeastern India was occupied by Muslim forces. As temples, statues and scriptures were constantly threatened by destruction, many sacred objects were brought to temples in Nepal and Tibet. In this way, Pala objects became prototypes for local Tibetan artisans. Influenced by Pala art, the central Tibetan style gradually developed enormous halos, bulky lotus thrones, thick lotus petals, sturdy physiques and sombre expressions. Tibetan artisans also attempted local variations as they produced numerous realistic statues of the founding masters of local Buddhist schools.

11世紀以降,印度東北被穆斯林勢力侵占,寺院、造像、典籍被毀,大批僧人逃往加德滿都河谷避難,無數法器流入尼泊爾和西藏的寺廟,為西藏藝匠提供豐富的素材,波羅藝術因此成為模仿對象。沿襲波羅藝術,西藏中部逐漸形成其造像風格──背光高大、蓮座寬闊、蓮瓣厚重、體格魁梧、表情莊嚴。西藏工匠也製作大量具本地風格的祖師像,甚為寫實。

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Monkey Incense Holder

 

Tibet, 16th century

Brass alloy, H. 14 cm

Cissy and Robert Tang Collection 

The incense holder is rendered in the form of a monkey with hands in the Gesture of Offering (Anjali mudra). Hunched atop a lotus platform, he exposes his swollen belly, while his neck, ears and arms are adorned with a finial inlaid with turquoise and jewels. Within the scope of Tibetan Buddhist art, monkeys typically serve as attendant figures, providing offerings to worldly protectors such as Ganapati, Mahakala or Tsiu Marpo.

猴香座

 

西藏,16世紀

黃銅合金,高14厘米

喜聞過齋藏

猴香座雙手合十,表示尊崇禮敬,弓背坐於蓮座上,圓腹袒露。頸、耳、腕皆嵌綠松石及珠寶。藏傳佛教藝術中,猴子常隨侍護法,如歡喜天、大黑天和紫瑪等。

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Figure of Akshobya

 

Central Tibet, 13th century

Bronze alloy, H. 58 cm

Private collection

The Akshobya is represented in the subtle form of Bliss (Sambhogakaya)—distinguished by his outstretched right hand in the Gesture of Earth-touching (Bhumisparsha mudra)—demonstrating his perseverance over egocentric forces, with his left hand in the Gesture of Meditation (Dhyana mudra).

 

The late Pala style is seen in the tall chignon and benevolent expression conveyed through his downcast eyes and upturned lips. The well-proportioned treatment of his face, the patinated surface and elaborate crown with interwoven tendrils exhibit Tibetan craftsmanship from the 13th century.

阿閦佛像

 

衛藏,13世紀

青銅合金,高58厘米

私人收藏

 

此為阿閦佛報身像,右手結觸地印,象徵降伏一切魔障,左手結定印,表禪定之意。

 

髮髻高聳,眼簾下垂,嘴唇微翹,面容慈祥,可見波羅王朝晚期風格。13世紀西藏之造像特色亦見於多處:輪廓比例有致,像身打磨光滑,寶冠精緻,花蔓交錯,工藝精湛。

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Figure of Chanda Vajrapani

 

Tibet, 12th–13th century

Copper alloy with a white metal inlay and pigment, H. 19 cm

Nyingjei Lam Collection

This wrathful form of Vajrapani assumes the Gesture of Warning (Tarjani mudra), formed by pointing index fingers on his left hand, and stands in a dramatic pose (pratyalidha) that signifies the hurling of projectile weapons, as he is certainly about to release the vajra brandished in his top right hand. With elephants and lions underfoot, a tiger skin around his waist and snakes for jewellery, 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. Two severed heads representing the devotee’s ego are attached to a flaming prabhamandala, as are motifs of the sun and moon, symbolising wisdom and compassion.

 

Stylistically, the influence of the Pala sculptural tradition is evident in the treatment of the sculpture's necklace, sashes and lotus petals. Decorated by an eight-point star, symbols representing the dharma wheel, the rectangular throne with a projecting central section, as well as the halo’s flames, are also clearly inspired by earlier examples from Northeastern India.

威烈金剛手菩薩像

 

西藏,12至13世紀

紅銅合金、錯白合金、顏料,高19厘米

菩薩道收藏

 

此尊為金剛手菩薩之忿怒相。造型充滿張力,右腿彎曲、左腿伸展,呈戰鬥姿態。右手持金剛杵,作投擲狀,左手食指豎直,結期剋印,具威脅之意。足踏獅象,腰披虎皮,纏蛇型珠寶,顯示降伏一切猛獸,展現可怖的護法形象。菩薩吞咬毒蛇、飲下毒汁,更顯大威神力。火焰背光兩側各掛日月,代表智慧與慈悲,而倒掛的人頭則象徵斷滅我見。座上的八芒星標誌為法輪象徵。

此像蓮座、胸前、腰間的瓔珞飾物繁多,背光飾火焰紋,底座矩形,中央部分凸出,具印度東北波羅王朝的藝術風格。

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Figure of Mahachakra Vajrapani

 

Tibet, 16th century

Gilt copper alloy, turquoise and polychrome, H. 27 cm

Collection of Zhiguan Museum

The dynamic sculpture of Mahachakra Vajrapani in the tantric position yab-yum is distinguished by rich gilding and the vivid use of colour for both the flaming red hair and the intense expressions of the deities’ faces. Vajrapani is depicted with three faces and six arms, holding a vajra high in his upper right hand, assuming the Gesture of Warning (Tarjani mudra) in his left hand. He is engaged in sexual union with his consort, who offers a blood-filled skull cup in her left hand and wields a kartika in the right. Snakes writhe in and out of his mouth as he tramples the hostile nagas (serpent-spirits) underfoot. Key to Vajrapani’s wrathful emanation, snakes or nagas convey his role of subduing harmful forces and converting ‘poisonous’ emotions into virtue.

大輪金剛手菩薩像

 

西藏,16世紀

鎏金紅銅合金、綠松石、顏料,高27厘米

止觀博物館藏

 

此為雙身像,即男女雙修的形相。鎏金濃厚,色彩鮮艷,尤見於髮髻。金剛手菩薩三面六臂,右手高舉金剛杵,左手結期剋印。明妃與其合歡,左手持盈血顱器,右手握鉞刀。金剛手菩薩正吞噬纏繞的長蛇(代表龍魔),腳踏龍魔,象徵降伏魔障,化五毒為正果。

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Figure of an Eleven-headed Avalokiteshvara

 

Tibet, 14th century

Silver and copper inlaid bronze, H. 121 cm

Private collection

This figure is one of the largest known representations of the cosmic form of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, with a proportionally constructed tower of heads and fan of arms. The topmost head of the statue represents Buddha Amitabha. The ten heads, with placid, fierce and laughing faces, are all the emanations of Avalokiteshvara when enlightening different beings. 

 

The principal arms are rendering the Gesture of Offering (Anjali mudra), while the two others hang down in the Gesture of Charity (Varada mudra, the granting of a wish) and the rest in the Gesture of Fearlessness (Abhaya mudra). The circles made with the fingers symbolise the taking of refuge as the union of method and wisdom, and the three extending fingers represent the Three Jewels of the Budd­­ha, dharma (the law), and sangha (the monastic order) as the objects of refuge. All of the emblems, which include prayer beads, a book, a bow and arrow, a wheel and a water pot are now missing.

The Tibetan use of silver and copper to enhance the details of non-gilded bronzes is carried over from the Indian Pala period styles imported in the early days of contact. Inlaid silver draws dramatic focus on the whites of the statue’s piercing eyes and the teeth on angry faces, while red copper lends realism to the lips and fingernails.

十一面觀音像

 

西藏,14世紀

青銅錯銀及紅銅,高121厘米

私人收藏

 

此像最頂一面為如來相,代表阿彌陀佛;為渡眾生,其餘十面,現寂靜、忿怒、笑怒等相。前掌合十,隨後兩手施與願印,其餘結皈依印——兩指結成圓圈,象徵悲智雙運,豎起三指,代表皈依佛、法、僧三寶。原來手持法器,如念珠、書卷、弓箭、法輪、淨瓶等,現已散失。

 

西藏工匠沿襲印度波羅王朝遺風,以錯銀及紅銅修飾造像的細節,前者用於眼和牙、後者見於嘴唇和指甲,皆使形象更為像真、鮮明。

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