AS EVIDENT in this sculpture, the images from western Tibet belonging to the 11th–12th century bear clear influence of the art of Kashmir. King, Yeshe-O’ of Gugee in western Tibet, sent many Buddhist monks to study in Indian Buddhist universities. A well-known Buddhist monk Rinchen Sangpo (958–1055 CE) visited the university of Vikramashila on invitation from Atisa. When Rinchen Sangpo returned to Tibet he took with him several Kashmiri artists to work for the monasteries there. The artists worked together with the Tibetan craftsmen and created several monasteries, temples, sculptures and paintings, such as monasteries of Tobo, Tholing, Tsaparang and Alchi, to name a few. The Kashmiri artists left a definite influence on the art of Tibet giving rise to a new idiom, the combination of Tibetan and Kashmiri styles, during the 11th–12th century CE. The present image belongs to the same group or style.
Buddha is seated in bhumisparsha mudra. His sanghati decorated with a border of petal designs, covers his left shoulder and passing round his body terminates on his left forearm in the manner of the Eastern Indian bronzes of the 9th–10th century A.D. There are indications of a tight garment underneath his sanghati, covering his arms up to the wrists. The hair is tied in ushnisha topped by a lotus-shaped pin. The eyes show the marks of inlay, a tradition which was practiced in Tibet from 9th century CE as a result of Kashmiri and Eastern Indian influence.
Slim body, elongated from the waist, long neck, broad flat face are some of the stylistic features of this figure which compare well with the Tsaparang images.
Bronze, traces of Gilt
11th century CE
20.3 x 14.5 x 9.2 cms.