Western Tibet, 13th century
Bronze with traces of pain
The chubby body of Jambhala, the Buddhist deity of riches, denotes prosperity. Seated comfortably on a lotus throne, he grasps a mongoose–Nakula, receptacle of all treasures–which spews jewels from its mouth. The god holds a lemon in his right hand and rests his foot on a vessel of longlife; both items are also attributes of Jambhala’s female counterpart, the goddess Vasudhara, seen on the next page.
The sculpture is remarkable for its dynamism and majestic presence. Jambhala’s smiling face displays traces of gold paint; his hari is painted the deep blue of lapis lazuli, which Tibetan Buddhists value for its beauty.