A silver-and copper-inlaid bronze figure of Milarepa
15th-16th century, Tibet
Height: 10.8 cm
The present figure’s proper-right hand, cupped behind his ear, identifies him as the Buddhist saint, Milarepa, whose melodious enlightened verses echoed through the Tibetan landscape. Silver-inlaid eyes capture an alert attitude cultivated through years of meditation. His modest cotton robe, decorated with a simple motif and a copper-inlaid meditation strap, is reminiscent of Indian textiles and metalwork. All of these details are shared by an example published in Art Sacre´ Du Tibet: Collection Alain Bordier, Paris, 2013, p. 173, fig. 87. The present sculpture is inscribed in Tibetan Uchen script with the following: This sculpture of Milarepa was erected in reverence by Sanggye Zangmo for the accomplishment of the practitioner Sogyel Sanggye.
Provenance: Sotheby's New York, 26 March 2003, lot 72 Himalayan Art Resources (himalayanart.org), item no. 12204.