A GILT AND POLYCHROMED CLAY FIGURE OF RATNASAMBHAVA
A GILT AND POLYCHROMED CLAY FIGURE OF RATNASAMBHAVA
A GILT AND POLYCHROMED CLAY FIGURE OF RATNASAMBHAVA
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A GILT AND POLYCHROMED CLAY FIGURE OF RATNASAMBHAVA
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THE JOHN C. AND SUSAN L. HUNTINGTON COLLECTION
A GILT AND POLYCHROMED CLAY FIGURE OF RATNASAMBHAVA

CHINA, QING DYNASTY, 18TH CENTURY

细节
A GILT AND POLYCHROMED CLAY FIGURE OF RATNASAMBHAVA
CHINA, QING DYNASTY, 18TH CENTURY
12 1/2 in. (31.8 cm.) high
来源
Oriental Gem Co., London, 20 January 1972.
The John C. and Susan L. Huntington Collection, Columbus, Ohio.
出版
S. Huntington, "The Agency of Images," The Oxford Handbook of Buddhist Practice, Oxford, 2022, p. 162. fig. 9.9.
Himalayan Art Resources, item no. 24792.

荣誉呈献

Tristan Bruck
Tristan Bruck Specialist, Head of Sale

拍品专文

This highly unusual gilt and polychrome lacquered clay sculpture shows the tathagata Ratnasambhava seated in dhyanasana atop a double-lotus pedestal. His right hand is extended palm forward on his knee and his left hand held above his lap, with the palm upward in dhyanamudra. The figure is clad in voluminous robes gathered above the waist, the face with a serene expression and the forehead inset with a raised urna. The curls of hair are painted in black lacquer then highlighted with bright ultramarine pigment over the ushnisha.
The present sculpture is carried out in the style of the Qing imperial court, which flourished during a period of cultural interchange between China, Mongolia, and Tibet in the eighteenth century. In the pursuit of political support and legitimacy, the Qing dynasty propagated and heavily patronized Tibetan-style Buddhism. From the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries, Qing emperors took advantage of this devotion by lavishly patronizing Tibetan Buddhist activities in the capital of Beijing.
Although clay is not a well-known artistic medium in Tibetan art, it has always been an important sculptural material. Such sculptures were likely made with a core of straw wrapped around a wooden armature and applied with clay molding on the surface. An x-ray photograph of the statue reveals that the cavity within has been filled with rolled sutras and a small votive tablet of Amitayus is attached to a pole representing the spine that runs through the center of the torso. The practice of making and depositing these relief sculptures, called tsa-tsa in Tibetan, has its roots in Indian Buddhist practice as is exemplified by the countless molded clay tablets found at Buddhist sites such as Nalanda in Northeastern India, as well as excavated from stupas, including the famous Gilgit stupa in Pakistan.
Consecration of a statue is essential to its religious purpose. Through an elaborate ceremony, the statue is brought to life and imbued with the spiritual qualities of the deity it is representing. Compare the present figure with a gilt-lacquered figure of a Buddha sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 22 -23 March 2018, lot 1041. Also compare the proportions and overall detailing on the present work with a large lacquered Medicine Buddha from the Gump collection sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 29 May 2019, lot 2707.
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