Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Deity - (Unidentified Male)

(item no. 41223)
Origin Location Nepal
Date Range 1300 - 1399
Lineages Buddhist
Material Metal, Mercuric Gild, Precious Stone
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Manidharin 'the Jewel Holder.' It is possible that the figure represents Manidharin the male attendant to the Three Deity Chaturbhuja Lokeshvara.

In some painted depictions of Lokeshvara and two retinue figures the Manidharin is shown with the first pair of hands pressed together at the heart and the second pair holding the stems of two flower blossoms. Manidharin can also be depicted with two arms typically holding a jewel and a lotus. (See HAR #73807 and #76004).

To the left side of Lokeshvara is the female figure, Shadakshari, white in colour, and holding the same attributes as the principal figure. Both Manidharin and Shadakshari are typically seated in a relaxed fashion. It is however possible that a sculpture of the three could have been commissioned with a larger central seated Chaturbhuja Lokeshvara and two smaller but standing figures of the attendant deities.

The sculpture is unlikely to be a depiction of Lokeshvara because of the lack of a small figure of Amitabha Buddha decorating the front of the crown, the lack of a krishnasara deerskin hanging across the left shoulder and the unusual placement of the two flowers behind the shoulders.

Jeff Watt 9-2020

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Nepal: Khasa/Yatse Sculpture & Painting
Collection: Christie's, New York (Painting & Sculpture. September, 2020)
Buddhist Deity: Avalokiteshvara, Chaturbhuja - Four Hands - Main Page
Collection: Bonhams, Sculpture (March, 2015; New York)
Buddhist Deity: Lokeshvara (Unusual Iconography)