Page 14 - Maitri CollectionAsian Art Bonhams
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Newar artists were in great demand to produce metal sculpture for Tibetan
           monasteries as well, including Shalu (founded 1027) and Narthang (founded
           1153) where c. 11th-12th-century sculpture produced by Nepalese artists
           remained until recent times.  Densatil monastery (founded 1198) likewise
           drew upon the talents of Newar artists, as did Drigung monastery, where
           a Tashi Gomang stupa was completed by Newar artists c. 1208.  In 1260,
           during the reign of King Jayabhimdev Malla, eighty artists, led by the
           exceptionally talented Aniko (1245-1306), accompanied Tibetan Buddhist
           hierarch Phakpa (1235-1280) to the court of the Chinese Yuan Emperor,
           Khubilai Khan.

           Many 10th and 11th century sculptures from Nepal continue to express
           the Licchavi period aesthetic ideals of soft, rounded forms with minimal
           ornamentation.  Some gilt copper sculptures of this period, however, show
           more emphatic movement and bear jewelry embellished with inset gems.
           Most demonstrate the traditional Newar artists’ preference for largely
           unalloyed copper and mercury gilding.
           Such is the case with the stately c. 11th century gilt copper figure of
           Amoghasiddhi in The Maitri Collection, who offers the gesture of reassurance
           (abhaya mudra) while abiding in deep meditation. His tall foliate crown,
           secured with a double row of beads, and other jewel adornments enhance
           the regal presence of this celestial Buddha. Amoghasiddhi was part of a
           pentad of celestial Buddhas, often integral to Buddhist practice in north India,
           Nepal, and Tibet during this period. He is associated with the North and
           with desire (raga) and its purified form, discernment (pratyavekshanajnana).
           A previous publication has noted this sculpture’s stylistic parallels with
           contemporary works in Tibet. 6

           2  See a Maitreya sculpture at Shalu, 1.16 meters in height, and another large sculpture at Narthang,
           both published in von Schroeder, Buddhist Sculptures in Tibet, Hong Kong, 2001, vol. 1, pp.441,
           447, figs.VII-4, VII-6.
           3  Olaf Czaja & Adriana Proser, eds. Golden Visions of Densatil: A Tibetan Buddhist Monastery,
           (New York, 2014), pp.29-42.
           4  See for example a c. 10th century stone sculpture of Uma-Maheshvara and a c. 11th century gilt
           copper figure of Devi, published in Nancy Tingley, Celestial Realms (Sacramento California, 2012),
           pp.40-1 and 46-7; and in Pratapaditya Pal, Nepal Where the Gods are Young (New York, Asia
           Society, 1975), p.54.
           5  See von Schroeder, Buddhist Sculptures in Tibet, vol. 1, nos. 155C-E and 164D-F.
           6  Weldon in Jan van Alphen et al., Cast for Eternity, Antwerp, 2005, pp.146-7.

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