TEFAF 2020

05 Mar – 15 Mar 2020
  • PRESS RELEASE
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  • An exceptional lotus mandala attributed to the Atelier of Zanabazar will be amongst the extraordinary works of art on offer at Rossi & Rossi’s stand at this year’s edition of TEFAF Maastricht. The Mongolian bronze sculpture will be exhibited alongside sculpture, bronzes, paintings and textiles from China, India, Mongolia, Nepal and Tibet and can be found at stand 162 of the fair.

    This exceptional sculpture represents the pinnacle of Mongolian bronze sculptural production. The lotus mandala is a three-dimensional representation of a deity, in this case, Chakrasamvara and his consort Vajravarahi, and retinue figures inside a lotus blossom. This stunning example features an ingenious mechanism that allows the petals surrounding the central deity to open and close. Exceedingly rare, it is only one of two similarly engineered lotus mandalas known to have emerged from Khalkha Mongolia.

    It is the engineering and design of this lotus mandala that make this sculpture truly extraordinary. The lotus stem takes the form of an eight-sided cylinder surrounded by a ring that is decorated with the eight auspicious symbols, each positioned directly below a petal. The ring is connected to the petals via a central rod that is hidden within the lotus stem. Moving the ring up pushes the petals up, causing them to fall open. A delicate balance between the weight of the petals and the weight of the ring keeps the petals from closing on their own. Pushing the ring back down towards the base draws the petals closed.

    The sculpture is attributed to the Atelier of Zanabazar, which is named after one of the most revered religious leaders and artists of Mongolia, Jebtsundamba Khutuktu Zanabazar (1635–1723). Distinguished in the realms of politics, literature, the arts and engineering, Zanabazar travelled to Tibet in 1649 where he studied medieval Nepalese and East Indian images housed in monasteries. On his return to Mongolia in 1651, Zanabazar established an atelier which created stunning bronze sculptures with a unique and recognisable flair that has become synonymous with his aesthetic. Zanabazar’s sculptures present a synthesis of ancient aesthetics. With Zanabazar’s innovation, image-making of this period reached a peak in its artistic level.

    The wide, leafy petals with scalloped edges at the base of the globe are characteristic of Mongolian works produced during Zanabazar’s lifetime. The tiny beading along the foot of the circular base also is characteristic of Mongolian works of this period. Known to have been a gifted engineer, it is possible Zanabazar himself had a hand in the creation of this precision-made work.

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    • Seated Bodhisattva

      Copper alloy
      India
      Pala period, ca. 9th century
      9 cm (3 ½ in)

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    • Avalokiteshvara

      Copper alloy with silver and copper inlay
      Probably Kashmir, India
      ca. 9th–11th century
      17.5 cm (7 in)

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    • Shiva Sukhasanamutri

      Bronze
      India, Southern region, Tanjore
      Chola dynasty, 12th century
      53.3 cm (21 in)

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    • Ganesh

      Bronze
      India, Southern region, Tamil Nadu
      Ca. 1200
      43 cm (17 in)

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    • Chakrasamvara Mandala

      Gilt copper alloy with pigment
      Mongolia
      Atelier of Zanabazar, mid-17th–early 18th century
      32 cm (12 ½ in)

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    • Chagan Sambhar-a

      Gilt copper alloy with painted details
      Mongolia
      Late 17th-early 18th century
      24 cm (9 ½ in)

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    • Vishnu

      Gilt-copper alloy
      Nepal
      Licchavi Dynasty, 8th–9th century
      26.7 cm (10 ½ in)

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    • Fragment of a Mandala Depicting Mahasiddha

      Gilded and painted copper alloy repoussé
      Nepal or Tibet
      Ca. 14th century
      33 x 53.5 cm

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    • Vasudeva-Kamalaja

      Copper alloy with inlay and remains of gilding
      Nepal
      14th century
      22.2 cm (8¾ in)

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    • Durga

      Copper alloy with traces of gilding
      Nepal
      Malla Dynasty, 17th century
      30.4 cm (12 in)

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    • Standing Chandra Vajrapani

      Copper alloy with a white metal inlay and pigment
      Tibet
      Ca. 12th–13th centuries
      18.5 cm (7 ¼ in)

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    • Kunga Nyingpo

      Copper alloy with painted details
      Tibet
      15th century
      30 cm (12 in)

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    • Lhatsun Kunga Chökyi Gyatso

      Gilt bronze
      Tibet
      15th-16th century
      17 cm (6 ¾ in)

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    • Virupa, the Ugly One

      Copper alloy
      Tibet
      16th century
      15.8 cm (6 ¼ in)

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    • A Pair of Door Bosses

      Iron with gold, silver and copper
      Tibet
      Ca. 16th–17th century
      Diameter 29 cm (11 in)

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    • Scenes from the life of Milarepa

      Pigment and gold on cotton
      Tibet, Eastern region
      18th century
      107.5 x 63.5 cm (42 ¼ x 25 in)

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    • Two Naga

      Chlorite
      Kashmir
      10th century
      37 x 29 cm (14 ½ x 11 ½ in)

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    • Book cover with figures of a lama, Sadakshari, the Buddha, Prajnaparamita and Green Tara

      Carved and painted wood
      Tibet
      Ca. 13th century
      33 x 74 x 4.4 cm (13 x 29 ⅛ x 1 ¾ in)

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    • Pair of book-covers

      Painted wood
      Tibet
      13th century
      11 x 40.5 cm (4 x 16 in)

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    • Manuscript cover

      Painted wood
      Tibet
      Ca. 13th century
      16 x 40 x 2 cm (6 ¼ x 15 ¾ x ¾ in)

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