|Date Range||1100 - 1199|
|Material||Metal, Mercuric Gild|
Manjushri Nepal or Tibet circa 12th century Gilt copper with inset jewelry H 91.2 cm ZG 1020 Manjushri is represented in this important gilt copper sculpture as the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, identified by the emblem of a prajnaparamita sutra resting on the flower at his shoulder. Fire-gilt copper images of standing deities such as this define the Newar aesthetic in the late Transitional period (ca 879-1200 CE) and the beginning of the Early Malla period (1200-1482). Bodhisattvas are modelled as idealized youths adorned with jewelry and standing in graceful tribhanga. Fabulous sculptures such as the Manjushri captured the imagination of Tibetan patrons during the Chider, the ‘Later Diffusion’ of the Buddhist faith, corresponding to the period c. 1000–1200, as sculpture was sought to fill the halls of newly built monasteries in Central Tibet.
Similar large Nepalese style standing gilt copper sculptures representing the Eight Great Bodhisattvas are worshipped in Sera Monastery. Four large scale early Nepalese style gilt copper standing bodhisattvas are found in the Potala, Jokhang and Shalu. The Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum each have a large Nepalese style standing bodhisattva brought from Tibet in the early twentieth century and nineteenth century respectively. Numerous smaller examples of early Nepalese and Nepalese style gilt copper standing bodhisattvas are found throughout Tibetan monastery collections and private and museum collections worldwide, but this select group of early, intact and sizeable gilt copper standing sculptures, including the Manjushri, remains exceedingly rare.
The Manjushri is made with tangs beneath the feet to fit a separately made pedestal, and is cast in one piece — as are the Sera bodhisattvas — in a remarkable feat of foundry skill. The smooth tactile skin of the statue and sensuous sculptural form is testament not only to the artist’s prowess but the expertise of the craftsmen that finished the cast, whereby the surface of the statue is patched and burnished before the application and firing of the mercury amalgam gilding. The minimal wear to the gold suggests the statue has not been repeatedly handled over the years, perhaps protected on a high altar like the bronzes at Sera.
Subtle shades of green, blue and garnet colored stones are inset into the sumptuous jewelry, with lapis lazuli in the rosettes above the ears, turquoise, colored green glass and garnet-colored foil-backed crystal or glass in the crown, necklace, belt clasp, armbands and bracelets. The earrings, necklace and crown band have channels cast into the jewelry to receive strings of pearls — all now missing — that were secured in place by the still visible retaining wires evenly spaced along the length of the grooves. This typically Nepalese decorative device is observed on the cast gilt copper sculpture of Densatil where Newar craftsmen were known to have worked.
A beaded cord, ratnopavita, hangs over the left shoulder and follows the contours of the torso down to the thigh where it forms a loop over the sash that drapes the hips. This observation of the subtle movement of the sacred cord as it meets the sash is a classic feature of Nepalese Transitional period sculpture, and is seen on almost all standing bodhisattva statues of the period: the feature is less often seen in the Early Malla period. The crown style is typical of Transitional period sculpture with three jeweled elements attached to a head band with the tall central leaf dominant, and rosettes above the ears. The bud and scrolling tendril at the left foot is also typical of early Nepalese sculpture where the deity has a flower at the shoulder.
The aquiline nose and the full and protruding lower lip are features of early Nepalese art that are derived from classical Indian Gupta period (ca 320-550 CE) sculptural traditions espoused by Licchavi period (ca 400-879 CE) artists in Nepal. The sublime image of Manjushri epitomizes this timeless sculptural aesthetic of youth and beauty, and gracefully embodies the tenets of the prajnaparamita sutra that rests on the flower at his shoulder, the Perfection of Wisdom.
BIBL: Pratapaditya Pal, Himalayas: An Aesthetic Adventure, Chicago, 2003, p. 35, cat. no. 11.
( David Weldon )
文殊菩萨 尼泊尔或西藏 约12世纪 红铜鎏金 镶嵌宝石 高：91.2厘米 ZG1020
这是一尊非常重要的铜鎏金造像，文殊菩萨被塑造为智慧的菩萨，由他肩旁花朵上奉置的《般若波罗蜜多心经》可以辨识。 这类神像的样式与风格奠定了过渡时期晚期(约公元879-1200)和马拉王朝 (约公元1200-1482)初期的纽瓦尔美学，以优雅的站姿和华丽的装饰塑造出理想化的青年人形象。在佛教后弘期，约公元1000–1200年间在西藏中部新建寺院的各个殿堂中都供奉这类神像，而这尊精美绝伦的文殊菩萨立像正是体现了西藏佛教后弘期的艺术审美。
BIBL: Pratapaditya Pal著, Himalayas: An Aesthetic Adventure, 芝加哥, 2003年, 第35页 , 编号11。
文/大卫.威尔顿 翻译/谢兆霖 校对/李璟