US$50,000 - US$70,000
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西藏 約十八世紀 銅鎏金錘揲喇嘛像
This portrait image illustrates a venerable monk seated on a carpet draped over cushions. The voluminous robe, decorated with floral and geometric designs, is drawn around him with deep hard-edge creases. His right hand is positioned at his chest in the gesture of teaching (vitarka mudra) while his left hand rests in his lap. In spite of his old age, which is expressed through his wrinkled forehead, emaciated neck, prominently arched eyebrows, and heavily drooping eyelids, he remains upright and alert.
This degree of naturalism mixed with some exaggerated elements gives the impression that the artist and this particular individual may have been closely familiar with one another. Here, the elderly lama presses the wrinkles around his mouth to form a wry, enigmatic smile, perhaps in remembrance of when he became a fully-fledged master and mentor with decades of experience, rather than as an idealized youth. While it is not uncommon for Tibetan artists to incorporate idiosyncratic features onto historical persons, these added embellishments consequently make their exact identification unknown without a named inscription, a problem that also occurs on generic portraiture and historical figures reimagined as Buddhist deities. In terms of style, however, this figure shares the piling of his monastic robe, hand gestures, and wrinkled visage to the goateed image of Jigme Lingpa in the Rubin Museum of Art (C2002.29.2; HAR 65159). Also, see other more individualized portraits of elderly lamas, one of a Shamarpa lama sold at Bonhams, New York, 18 March 2013, lot 156, and the other of an unidentified lama sold at Bonhams, Hong Kong, 5 October 2020, lot 42. Lastly, see an image of a more idealized portrait of a lama, but executed in silver repoussé in the Rubin Museum of Art (C2009.12; HAR 65904).
David Weldon & Jane Casey, Faces of Tibet: The Wesley and Carolyn Halpert Collection, Carlton Rochell Ltd., New York, no. 51.
The Wesley and Carolyn Halpert Collection
Carlton Rochell Ltd., New York, 2003
The Rapoport Collection, New York