Himalayan Art Resources

Subject: Lokeshvara/Tara Confusion (Yongle)

Lokeshvara/Tara Confusion (Yongle) | Yongle Style Main Page | Confused Visual Subjects

When comparing Yongle style sculpture of Lokeshvara and Tara they can appear almost identical when having one face and two arms. The bodily posture between the two is identical with the right hand extended palm up across the knee with the stem of a flower and the blossom opening at the right shoulder. The left hand placed to the heart holds the stem of a flower extending upward at the left shoulder.The right leg is slightly pendant and rests on a small flower cushion. The left leg rest tucked to the body and lying flat atop a double lotus. The gaze is forward looking with both figures. The hair piled on the top of the head with some falling loose over the shoulders is the same with all examples.

There is a crown, ribbons, earrings, short necklace, long necklace, armlets, bracelets, girdle belt, anklets and an anklet-like foot ornament. The upper body is adorned with a long scarf falling over the shoulders and flowing down the length of the arms. These characteristics are basically identical for all of the figures. Two of the Tara examples have slightly more detail and ornamentation on the front of the crowns with small pendants looping along the hairline and decorating the forehead.

The three figures of Tara are only recognizable by the small yet observable breasts and the necklaces slightly adjusted to the right or left sides or crossing directly atop the nipples of the two breasts. The Lokeshvara examples have very flat and even chest charachteristics.

Jeff Watt 5-2019