city at night

city at night

Saturday, March 20, 2021

From the Himalayas

The next gallery that I visited in the Cleveland Museum of Art's extensive collection of Asian art was devoted to works from the Himalayan regions of Kashmir, Nepal and Tibet.  Much of this art was created for monasteries.  For those who are not familiar with the Hindu and Buddhist religions, it can seem rather mystifying, but there is no doubt that the level of artistry is very high.

This standing Buddha, made of brass with silver and copper inlays, dates from around 900 and comes from Kashmir.  However, an inscription written in the Tibetan language says that it belonged to a royal monk in Tibet.

A "Bodhisattva" is a compassionate being who forgoes the personal pursuit of Nirvana to help others achieve enlightenment.  These two  "Bodhisattvas" of gilt bronze come from 15th century Nepal.

In Nepal Hinduism and Buddhism flourish side by side.  This image of the Hindu goddess Uma, the wife of Shiva, dates from around 1000 and is made of gilt bronze with semi-precious stones.

This ivory carving of the "Bodhisattva of Compassion" was done by Choying Dorje, one of the highest ranking Buddhist monks of 17th century Tibet.  He was also a talented painter and sculptor.

These earring made of gold with pearls are from 17th or 18th century Nepal.  They are an example of "deity jewelry"... they would hang on an image of a Hindu god.

This seated Buddha from around 1400 comes from a monastery in western Tibet.

An eleven-headed, four-armed "Bodhisattva of Compassion" in gilt bronze with silver inlay.  It comes from western Tibet and dates back to the mid-1000s.

This image of the Hindu Sun God, Surya, comes from early 8th century Kashmir.

Before I leave on my trip in April, I hope to make another visit to the art museum and finish viewing their Asian collection.  The largest galleries, those of China and India, remain to be seen.

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