Manjushri, West Tibet, 12th century, copper alloy and natural pigment, 20 in. Current Donor: Private West Coast collection, Formerly: Tamashige Collection, Japan
New Donations to the Tibet House US Repatriation Collection
Tibet House US
February 14-April 10, 2023
This large sculpture of Manjusri comes from Western Tibet, where the artists drew from Kashmiri examples and pulled iconographic elements from this style of sculpture, however it also includes some obvious representation of a parting from the Kashmiri style. By the 11th century, Western Tibetan rulers had brought over many Kashmiri artists and works of art in order to create images for newly-established Tibetan Buddhist temples in west Tibet.
Drawn from the artistic legacy of medieval Kashmir, as known from the seventh to the fourteenth centuries, is one of extraordinary creativity. Much of what is preserved was produced in the service of Hinduism and Buddhism. A seminal moment in Tibetan Buddhist art can be seen in the late eighth century, when Padmasambhava arrived in Tibet and founded the Nyingma order, the oldest school of Tibetan Buddhism. With him came the first wave of external influence, from Kashmir. This wonderful sculpture is highly representative of the Kashmiri style that flourished under the Karkota kings and made its way into Western Tibet at the early stages of artistic development there.