Amitayus, Bodhisattva of Endless Life

Artist/maker unknown, Tibetan

Made in Tibet, Asia

Malla Dynasty (1200-1769)

c. 14th - 15th century

Gilded copper alloy with turquoise and coral

10 1/4 × 7 × 5 1/2 inches (26 × 17.8 × 14 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Natacha Rambova, 1962

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This figure's facial features, jewelry, clothing, and hairstyle clearly reflect a Malla period Newar artistic legacy although this statue was intended for Tibetan Buddhist worship. We know it was made for a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner for two reasons. First, the deity Amitayus never gained precedence in the Newar pantheon. Second, the opaque turquoise and coral stones inset into his jewelry indicate a Tibetan patron since Newars prefer transparent stones. Because of the close artistic exchanges between Nepal and Tibet, however, it remains unclear if this sculpture was made by Newar artists for a Tibetan market or by Tibetan artists in the popular "Newar style."