Identified by the black hat of the Karmapas, his telltale goatee, and his signature 'mind refreshing' mudra, the bronze depicts the Second Karmapa, Karma Pakshi (1204-1283), aged with a sagacious countenance, perhaps seasoned by his turbulent relationship with the Yuan emperor Kubilai Khan (1215-1294), as Dinwiddie suggests.
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Compare with another in Chen, Sattvas & Rajas: The Culture and Art of Tibetan Buddhism, 2004 (HAR item no.32250).
Dinwiddie, Donald. Portraits of the Masters: Bronze Sculptures of the Tibetan Buddhist Lineages. United Kingdom: Pallas Athene, 2003, pp.162-3, no.29.
Jackson, David Paul., Debreczeny, Karl, Patron and Painter: Situ Panchen and the Revival of the Encampment Style, New York, 2009, p.52, fig.3.24 (misattributed to the Nyingjei Lam Collection).
Published & Exhibited
Monasterios y Lamas del Tibet, p.174, no.122.
Sotheby's, New York, 23 March 1995, lot 184
Himalayan Art Resources item no.2306
Detail: alternate view